We’ve got a couple of casting stories to share this afternoon. First up, Josh Duhamel is ready to get his Nicholas Sparks on. Variety reports that the Transformers star is in negotiations to lead the adaptation of Sparks’ Safe Haven. The story centers on a young woman with a dark past who arrives in a small North Carolina town, and reluctantly begins a relationship with a widowed store owner and his two children, and a friendship with her plainspoken neighbor. Duhamel would play the widowed store owner, but producers are still trying to fill the female lead role. Also, I’m assuming someone dies at the end.
Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) is onboard to direct and the film already has a pre-Valentine’s Day release date set for February 8th, 2013. The Nicholas Sparks adaptation The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron, opened to a successful number two at the box office last weekend. Hit the jump for casting news concerning the low-budget thriller Hidden and to read a synopsis for Safe Haven.
Additionally, Andrea Riseborough is now set to star opposite Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) in the horror thriller Hidden. Twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer will make their feature directing debut on the project based on a script they wrote, and the story concerns a family hiding in a bomb shelter after escaping a mysterious outbreak. Heat Vision reports that Riseborough will play the wife of Skarsgard’s character and the mother of their child. The actress has some high profile upcoming projects, as she’s currently shooting the sci-fi epic Oblivion opposite Tom Cruise.
When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family.
But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her . . . a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo’s empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards . . . and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven. [Amazon]