Richard Jenkins, attracting Oscar buzz for his performance in The Visitor, has joined Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried on the cast of Relativity Media's romance Dear John.

Lasse Hallstrom has started principal photography in South Carolina on the project based on a novel by Nicholas Sparks, whose work has spawned the big screen version of current release Nights In Rodanthe as well as The Notebook, Message In A Bottle and A Walk To Remember.

Screen Gems holds domestic rights and Relativity will handle international sales through its burgeoning distribution network. Last week Kavanaugh unveiled nine key output deals with the likes of Momentum in the UK, Village Roadshow in Australia and Nordisk in Scandinavia in addition to the existing relationship with Mandate International.

In Dear John, Jenkins will play the father of a young soldier who falls in love while on military leave. Jenkins is represented by the Gersh Agency

Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill Entertainment are producing with Kavanaugh while Tucker Tooley and Jeremiah Samuels serve as executive producers.