Nicholas Sparks, whose novel "The Notebook" was adapted and filmed in the Charleston area by Nick Cassavetes in 2003, "returns" to the Lowcountry with "Dear John," director Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of the 2006 Sparks novel.

Production on the feature film is slated to begin in mid-October at thus-far unspecified locations in Charleston County.

Meanwhile, an extras casting call will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 20 in the Student Center (Rooms 212, 214, 216) at Trident Technical College in North Charleston. All "types" and all ages are needed, says extras casting director Tona Dahlquist. The producers also are seeking men with military experience, those of college age and men of Middle Eastern descent.

Those interested in applying must bring a non-returnable current snapshot of themselves.

"Dear John" is a romantic drama involving a young soldier, John Tyree, who falls in love with a conservative college student while home on leave, then tries to sustain the relationship through a series of overseas letters. Channing Tatum ("G.I. Joe," "Stop Loss") will play Tyree, with Amanda Seyfried ("Mean Girls," "Mamma Mia!") starring as his love interest, Savannah Curtis.

Hallstrom, like Sparks, is known for his richly sentimental fare. The Oscar-nominated helmsman is one of more successful directors in Hollywood and abroad, with credits such as "My Life as a Dog," "Chocolat," "The Cider House Rules," "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" and the Lowcountry-shot "Something to Talk About" (1995).

The film also brings Emmy-winning production designer Sarah Knowles, who worked on "The Notebook," back to the state.