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Believe it or not, Steven Spielberg initially planned to direct The Notebook. Following the success of the Nicholas Sparks novel, the famous director took an interest in the love story and wanted to make a film adaptation. But sadly, scheduling conflicts got in the way, and he was replaced with director Nick Cassavetes.

Keep reading to find out more mind-blowing facts about the iconic romance film.

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks is based on a true story

While Allie and Noah’s love story seems too good to be true, their relationship was actually based on a real-life couple that Sparks got to know quite well. The story is based on Sparks’ ex-wife’s grandparents. According to Insider, they were together for 60 years, and their undying love for each other inspired the author to write the book.

“They told us the story of how they met and fell in love, parts of which eventually made their way into The Notebook,” said Sparks.

He said on his website, “Their story was wonderful. What I most remember from that day is the way they were treating each other. The way his eyes shined when he looked at her, the way he held her hand, the way he got her tea and took care of her. I remember watching them together and thinking to myself that after 60 years of marriage, these two people were treating each other exactly the same as my wife and I were treating each other after 12 hours. What a wonderful gift they’d given us, I thought, to show us on our first day of marriage that true love can last forever.”

Steven Spielberg was originally planning to direct ‘The Notebook’

The Notebook is a beloved film, yet it seems relatively low-budget compared to most movies Spielberg has made. This is why it comes as a surprise that he initially planned to direct the 2004 film.

And while on-board for the movie, he had his eyes set on a different actor instead of Gosling for the role of Noah.

According to E!, he wanted Tom Cruise for the romantic part.

Fortunately, Cassavetes was able to cast Gosling and turn him into the heartthrob he is today.

“When I told [New Line Cinema] I wanted to hire Ryan for the lead, they kind of looked at me like I was out of my mind,” Cassavetes said in an interview with VH1.

‘The Notebook’ initially had a totally different cast


Relationship Timeline: Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams

Before Gosling and McAdams landed their roles in the film, several A-list celebrities were considered to play Allie and Noah.

For the role of Noah, Justin Timberlake was also being looked at (along with Tom Cruise.)

And as for Allie, a handful of talented celebs that could have played her include: Reese Witherspoon, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Jessica Biel, and Ashley Judd.

Perhaps the strangest audition for The Notebook came from Jessica Biel, who says that she auditioned for the film while covered in blood.

“That’s one that I wanted so badly,” she said, according to PopSugar. “I was in the middle of shooting Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and I auditioned with Ryan Gosling in my trailer — covered in blood. [Director] Nick Cassavetes put me through the wringer in an interesting, excitingly creative way. But there’s a million that get away. We’re gluttons for punishment. It’s just rejection.”