Emmy-nominated actor Milo Ventimiglia, of the hit show This Is Us, will head to the silver screen in Fox 2000’s forthcoming adaptation of Garth Stein’s 2008 novel The Art of Racing in the Rain. The book has been an adaptation target since 2009, when Universal first acquired it. Back then, Patrick Dempsey was set to star for Universal because of the success of Grey’s Anatomy.
The Art of Racing in the Rain follows a dog named Enzo who explores the life lessons he’s learned from his human owner, a race car driver named Denny Swift. The novel’s most unique quality is that the story is told directly through Enzo’s eyes—imagine if Marley and Me was told by the dog.
The film’s development has taken its time, forcing Dempsey to exit the project after the film went through several write-ups. Finally, in 2016, the book was bought by Disney with Fast and Furious producer Neil Moritz to produce. That quickly lost steam and Fox 2000 bought the long-awaited project. It’s interesting that, should Disney’s Fox acquisition go smoothly, the film adaptation will technically once again be under the Disney banner. Moritz will still produce alongside Tania Landau, and Dempsey will return to the project to produce as well, per THR.
The Art of Racing in the Rain will be directed by Simon Curtis of the Oscar-nominated My Week With Marilyn and the recent Goodbye Christopher Robin. Ventimiglia, most recently seen and known for his stealing the hearts of audience members on This Is Us, is also known for playing Rory’s boyfriend Jess in Gilmore Girls, as well as for his role on the NBC show Heroes.
The actor’s fate on This Is Us seemed to be in jeopardy after Sunday night’s episode. For those concerned, don’t worry: Ventimiglia told THR, “I was never going to leave the show.” He explained how the show is like a series of home movies that helps to understand the past. “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,” he said. “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.”