July 16, 2009 at 04:29 PM EDT

Variety reports that Universal Pictures is developing The Art of Racing in the Rain as a starring vehicle for Grey’s Anatomy hunk Patrick Dempsey. The studio bought the screen rights to the bestselling Garth Stein novel about a dog named Enzo who’s blessed with “a near-human soul and a philosopher’s mind” and who “evaluates his life through the lessons learnedby his human owner, the race-car driver Denny Swift.” Dempsey, who is an accomplished pro race-car driver himself, will play Swift. The actor will produce Racing with Neal Moritz (Made of Honor) and Joannie Burstein.

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