Dakota Fanning in Talks for IF I STAY; Heitor Dhalia Replaces Catherine Hardwicke as Director

     October 20, 2010

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Dakota Fanning is in negotiations so star in Summit’s adaptation of the Gayle Forman young adult novel If I Stay.  Fanning would play Mia, an accomplished 17-year-old cellist destined for Julliard before a car accident sends her into a coma.  The book is told from the out-of-body thoughts and recollections of Mia.

Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) was at one point attached to direct, but she left the project to helm Red Riding Hood instead.  Variety reports that Brazilian director Heitor Dhalia (Adrift) will assume the reigns; Shauna Cross (Whip It) scripted the adaptation.  Click here for our interview with Cross where she discusses her take on the material, and hit the jump for a synopsis of the book.

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While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma.

Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. [Amazon]

This book sounds both very interesting and very similar to The Lovely Bones.  Any fans care to comment?  I think I’ve checked in.

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