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Milo Ventimiglia, who stars on NBC’s tear-filled and tear-inducing hit show This Is Us, is heading to the big screen.
The actor is in negotiations to star in the film adaptation of The Art of Racing in the Rain for Fox 2000.
Simon Curtis, helmer of last year’s drama Goodbye Christopher Robin, has been tapped to direct the adaptation of the best-selling novel by Garth Stein, which was picked up last year.
Neal Moritz is producing the feature along with Tania Landau and Patrick Dempsey, who at one point was attached to star in the project.
The book focuses on a family dog named Enzo who evaluates his life through the lessons learned by his human owner, a professional race-car driver named Denny Swift. The novel was an international best-seller when it was published in 2008 by Harper.
Fox 2000 is the latest home for the adaptation, which has previously found berths at Universal and Disney.
Universal picked up the book in 2009, when it was to have been a starring vehicle for Dempsey, who was then riding high on the ABC drama Grey’s Anatomy. But development took its time — Michael Rich wrote a draft of the script, then Mark Bomback was hired — and Dempsey eventually stepped aside, even as Thomas Bezucha signed on to direct. The project eventually stalled on the development track.
Disney picked up the book in 2016, this time with Fast and Furious franchise producer Moritz attached, but that effort also stalled.
Ventimiglia currently plays Jack Pearson, the near-perfect dad who continues to steal the hearts of millions on the time-twisting family drama This Is Us. The actor is fresh off two back-to-back episodes that finally explained just how Jack died and showcased the character’s funeral. The Dan Fogelman-created series used its prime post-Super Bowl slot, watched by 27 million people, to answer the season-and-a-half mystery of Jack’s death, prompting questions about Ventimiglia’s future on the series.
“I was never going to leave the show,” the actor told The Hollywood Reporter earlier this week. “A while back, Fogelman explained [the show] … as a box of unmarked home movies and each week we’re going to reach in and grab one and just tell that story. This was just one of those tapes, one of those moments where we are understanding a moment in this Pearson family, the loss of their father. That was just the story of the week that we were telling. There’s still a lot more to go, and that means yes, I’m still around.”
Ventimiglia has garnered a following from appearing on cult TV shows such as Gilmore Girls and Heroes, and has appeared in movies such as Sandy Wexler with Adam Sandler and Rocky Balboa, in which he played Rocky’s son.
Ventimiglia is repped by WME, Management 360 and McKuin Frankel.
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