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As Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel prepare to embark upon being star-crossed lovers in a film adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel – “Safe Haven”, opening on Valentine’s Day – we look back at the tragic lovebirds who came before them. Sparks movies are critical flops and box office successes but seem to be hit and miss when it comes to creating stars. For the purpose of this study, we’ll omit the two Sparks adaptations which starred established stars. Kevin Costner, Robin Wright, Richard Gere and Diane Lane are doing just fine, thank you very much.
Are Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams still the most iconic of Sparks couples? How have Sparks adaptations helped or hurt the careers of the likes of Mandy Moore, Shane West, Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried? Hough and Duhamel are two actors whose careers could certainly use a breakout-style boost, but as we will show here, leading a Sparks adaptation is no guarantee of movie stardom. We’ll see how they fare when “Safe Haven” is released tomorrow, but for now, let’s take a look back at the couples who came before them.
Keira Kinghtleysaid no, will Julianne Hough say yes? Variety reports it’s the “Dancing with the Stars” graduate who is now in negotiations to star in the latest Nicholas Sparks big screen adaptation, Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven”, which already hasJosh Duhamel as its leading man.
Hough will play Katie, a mysterious young woman who shows up in a small coastal town in North Carolina harboring dark secrets about her past. Though she tries to avoid it, she falls for handsome widower Alex (Duhamel), with two young children in tow, and forms a friendship with her next door neighbor Jo. Her past catches up to her and we can only assume that at least one person will end up dead and everyone else depressed in the end. The film already has a release date of February 8, 2013, with filming set to begin ASAP.
After dancing her way to stardom on hit ABC reality series “Dancing with the Stars” (she was a dancer, not a star), Hough has been steadily landing high profile big screen roles, first taking on the female lead in the “Footloose” remake, then the big screen adaptation of Broadway musical “Rock of Ages”, out next month. She recently wrapped playing another lead, in Diablo Cody’s untitled drama formerly known as “Lamb of God”, and starring in “Safe Haven” seems right in step with her repertoire thus far.
Following in the footsteps of Shane West, Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum and Zac Efron, former soap star Josh Duhamel is set to become the latest hottie to make girls everywhere swoon and cry, as Variety reports he is now in negotiations to play the male lead in “Safe Haven”, the latest big screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks bestseller. Keira Knightleyhad entered talks to play the female lead, but that fell through and the search is still on for Duhamel’s love interest.
Lasse Hallstrom directs the film that follows Katie, a mysterious young woman who shows up in a small coastal town in North Carolina harboring dark secrets about her past. Though she tries to avoid it, she falls for handsome widower Alex (Duhamel), with two young children in tow, and forms a friendship with her next door neighbor Jo. Her past catches up to her and we can only assume that at least one person will end up dead and everyone else depressed in the end. The film already has a release date of February 8, 2013, so casting should come together fast.
Duhamel first made girls swoon and cry as Leo on long-running soap “All My Children”, then seemed poised for big screen heartthrob status when he headlined rom coms like “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!”, “When in Rome” and “Life As We Know It.” Well, those fizzled, but he was in all three “Transformers” movies. Looks like he’ll make another play for that coveted female audience here. Hopefully it’ll work out better than “New Year’s Eve” did.
After two Oscar nominations and a string of small independent films, is Keira Knightley looking to go mainstream? All signs point to yes as Twitch Film reports the British actress is in early talks to star in “Safe Haven”, the newest film adaptation of a novel by weepy romance novelist Nicholas Sparks.
If her deal closes, Knightley would play Katie, a mysterious young woman who shows up in a small coastal town in North Carolina harboring dark secrets about her past. Though she tries to avoid it, she falls for handsome widower Alex, with two young children in tow, and forms a friendship with her next door neighbor Jo. Her past catches up to her and we can only assume that at least one person will end up dead and everyone else depressed in the end. Sparks isn’t exactly breaking any ground, here. In more good news, the film will be directed by Lasse Hallstrom, who brought us the previous Sparks masterpiece, “Dear John”, and the so bad it might as well be a Sparks property “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.” Shooting is set to begin in May, so Knightley or whoever else will be cast soon.
Knightley recently wrapped up comedy “Seeking a Friend at the End of the World” opposite Steve Carell and is now in production on her third team-up with “Atonement” and “Pride & Prejudice” director Joe Wright, “Anna Karenina”, in which she plays the title role. She was seen as Sabine in David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” late last year.
Zac Efron’s move into more serious drama hasn’t been hugely succesful so far, with Charlie St Cloud and Me and Orsen Welles both performing badly at the box office, but his next film may just be the winning combination needed – a Nicholas Sparks adaptation and the opportunity to get his shirt off and flex the muscles.
In The Lucky One, Efron plays a soldier who finds a woman’s picture in a war zone and credits her as the lucky charm that saves his life. On his return home, he sets out to find the young woman, and love blossoms as he keeps the picture a secret. Plenty of drama, tears and confessions to be expected, and in this first trailer released today, we get all three.
Also starring Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner and Jay R. Ferguson, The Lucky One hits cinemas on May 4th 2012.
Zac Efron didn’t make much of a splash in his first attempt at telling an adult romantic story in 2009′s “Charlie St. Cloud”, but he’ll get a little help this time around from the star power of Nicholas Sparks, whose novel, “The Lucky One”, spawned Efron’s new film.. Indeed, it seems Sparks gets more camera time than Efron and co-star, newcomer Taylor Schilling, in the first look at the film, about a soldier who finds a woman’s picture in a war zone and believes it’s a lucky charm that saves his life and subsequently sets out to find her upon returning home.
Of course Sparks and Co. are ready with soundbites indicating this one is different from his other works, though it looks pretty standard weepy Sparks romance to us. The only question remains: Who dies in the end? A gun-wielding abusive ex seems a likely suspect, but so do some treacherous waves Efron finds himself fighting against. Find out who “The Lucky One” is on April 20, 2012.
Newcomer Taylor Schilling has been given one hell of an introduction to mainstream feature films. Having wrapped up romancing Zac Efron in Nicholas Sparks’ “The Lucky One”, she is now upgrading to an even bigger Hollywood heartthrob. Variety reports Schilling will play Mrs Ben Affleck in political thriller “Argo”, also directed by the actor. Schilling is the first female to jump on board the cast that already includes Bryan Cranston, Kyle Chandler, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. Recently “Monsters” breakout star Scoot McNairy also signed on.
Based on Joshuah Bearman’s April 2007 Wired magazine article “How the CIA Used a Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans from Tehran,” “Argo” is a retelling of true events that surround a CIA operative team smuggled out American diplomats being held hostage by pretending they were a Hollywood movie crew. Affleck plays Tony Mendez, the leader of the operation, while Schilling will be Christine Mendez, a former teacher whose role is, predictably, to sit at home and worry about her husband.
Schilling had been most known for a regular role on the short lived medical drama “Mercy” before landing the female lead opposite Efron in the next Sparks adaptation, which have a history of being box office successes and sometime star makers (see: Mandy Moore, Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Liam Hemsworth). Clearly Schilling’s just getting her feet wet landing love interest and wife roles – albeit high profile ones; hopefully we’ll get to report on her landing something a little meatier soon.
Zac Efron sports a beard, a tattoo and some serious angst in these first filming pictures from “The Lucky One”, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel that sees Efron playing U.S. Marine Logan Thibault, who believes a picture of a woman he’s never met is a lucky charm, and sets out to find her after his deployment ends. Unknown actress Taylor Schilling will play Elizabeth, the mysterious woman in the photograph who, to be expected in a Nicholas Sparks tearjerker, has some secrets that threaten to tear their newfound love apart.
Efron has been making a concerted effort to separate himself from his “High School Musical” days, giving solid performances in “Hairspray” and “Me and Orson Welles” but fizzling out a bit with “Charlie St. Cloud”. He’s most recently been linked to “Akira” and a remake of “Snabba Cash”.
“The Lucky One” is currently in production under the direction of Scott Hicks in New Orleans and is set for a 2012 release. See full size versions of Efron on set under the cut.
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