Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough get their romantic groove on for Valentine’s Day in the Nicholas Sparks adaptation, Safe Haven, which opens February 14th. The romantic thriller centers on a young woman with a dark past whose sudden arrival in a small North Carolina town raises questions. As Katie (Hough) struggles with a dark secret that still haunts her, she reluctantly finds new love with a lonely widower (Duhamel) and his two children (Noah Lomax, Mimi Kirkland). Directed by Lasse Hallström from a screenplay by Dana Stevens, the film also features Cobie Smulders and David Lyons.
At the film’s recent press day, Duhamel, Hough, Hallström, Sparks and producer Marty Bowen talked about turning the novel into a major film, what Hallström brought to the story on screen, navigating the fine line between drama and melodrama to give an authentic voice to the characters, the process of conceiving a story that might be made into a film, the terrifying yet liberating experience of improv-ing on set, and the luxury of shooting on location in the quaint seaside town of Southport where the story was set. Hough also discussed playing a victim of domestic abuse and doing her own stunts. Hit the jump to read more:
The first trailer and images for the Nicholas Sparks adaptation Safe Haven have been released. Julianne Hough stars as a young woman who arrives in a small North Carolina town and raises questions about her past due to her reluctance to join the tight-knit community. She strikes up a relationship with a widowed store owner (Josh Duhamel) who has two small children, but soon realizes she’ll have to face her dark secrets head on. This essentially looks like every other Nicholas Sparks movie ever made, so if you’re a fan of those films then this is probably right up your alley. If not, Safe Haven looks unlikely to sway your opinion.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer and images. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) the film also stars Cobie Smulders and David Lyons and opens on February 8th, 2013.
Good news, everyone: the next Nicholas Sparks adaptation finally has a female lead! Despite being set for a pre-Valentine’s Day 2013 release this past December, Safe Haven has been without a female lead for the duration of its development. Josh Duhamel (Transformers) recently signed on as the male lead, and now Variety reports that Footloose star Julianne Hough is in talks to land that coveted female role. 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.
Keira Knightley was previously rumored to be eyeing the role, but apparently a deal never materialized. Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) is onboard to direct the adaptation. I quite liked Hough’s charisma in Footloose, and Diablo Cody chose her to star in the Juno scribe’s upcoming untitled directorial debut. The actress will next be seen opposite Tom Cruise in Rock of Ages when it opens next month. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of Sparks’ novel.
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.
Keira Knightley is in early talks to star in Lasse Hallström‘s adaptation of Nicholas Sparks‘ novel Safe Haven. Knightley would play 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. Hallström is currently finishing up work on his Swedish crime thriller The Hypnotist, and Twitch reports that he plans to start shooting Safe Haven in May. Safe Haven is Hallström’s second time working from a Sparks novel having previously directed 2010′s Dear John. Knightley will next be seen this summer in the apocalyptic romantic comedy Seeking a Friend for the End of the World and this fall in Joe Wright‘s adaptation of Anna Karenina.
Safe Haven is due out on Valentine’s Day 2013. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the novel.
When the Palm Springs International Film Festival starts on January 5th, the honor of being the opening film will fall to Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. The film, by Oscar-nominated director Lasse Hallstrom (The Cider House Rules) and Oscar-winning writer Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) is an adaptation of the Paul Torday award-winning novel of the same name. The plot follows a sheik (Amr Waked) who desires to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen, a wild idea that is facilitated by a fishing expert (Ewan McGregor) and a PR consultant (Emily Blunt) with the urgings of the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas). While Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is set to open the festival, the German comedy Almanya, Welcome to Germany will close it out on January 15th. Hit the jump for more on Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.
The first trailer for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has gone online. The story centers on a fishing expert (Ewan McGregor) and PR consultant (Emily Blunt) who are thrown together to bring salmon fishing to the Yemen at the behest of a sheik (Amr Waked) and the Prime Minister’s press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas). I found the film surprisingly witty and funny when I saw it at the Toronto Film Festival, but those qualities are almost non-existent in this trailer beyond Thomas’ scene-stealing performance. Instead, the trailer plays up the romantic, life-affirming aspects in a heavy-handed, saccharine fashion. It’s also probably not the best idea to finish up your trailer with a character saying, “I don’t have a sense of humor, as you recall.”
Hit the jump to check out the disappointing trailer. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen opens March 2, 2012.
For the past decade, seeing director Lasse Hallström’s name attached to a film hasn’t inspired much confidence. His work has ranged from middling (The Hoax) to the saccharine (Dear John) and I worried that his latest film, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, would be both. Instead, it’s a peppy, quick-witted British comedy filled with great performances, clever dialogue, and the mature development of a romantic relationship. The film staggers a bit getting to the finish line, but it’s a fun trip most of the way.
It appears that every single one of author Nicholas Sparks’ books will become a movie. Director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) is currently in talks to helm Relativity’s adaptation of Sparks’ novel Safe Haven. Hallström has some experience with Sparks adaptations, having helmed last year’s Dear John starring Amanda Seyfried. Dana Stevens (City of Angels) wrote the screenplay for Safe Haven, and Deadline reports that Relativity hopes to have production underway this fall. The story centers on a mysterious young woman who shows up in a small North Carolina town. As she begins to fall in love, her dark past continues to haunt her. Hit the jump for a synopsis of Sparks’ book.
Lasse Hallström will return to the Swedish cinema after more than two decades to direct The Hypnotist, an adaptation of the best selling crime novel by Lars Kepler. The Hypnotist is the first in a series of novels revolving around Detective Joona Linna, which rank just below Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (i.e The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels) on the list of Sweden’s most successful crime novels worldwide. Svensk Filmindustri and Sonet Film hope The Hypnotist will launch a film franchise of similiar stature. According to THR, The Hypnotist will shoot this winter for a planned 2012 release.
Hallström recently wrapped production an adaptation Salmon Fishing in Yemen which stars Emily Blunt, Ewan McGregor, and Kristin Scott Thomas. Hit the jump for the official synopsis of Kepler’s The Hypnotist.
Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle’s new film, 127 Hours, is a gripping account of mountain climber Aron Ralston’s harrowing ordeal after he becomes pinned under a boulder while canyoneering alone near Moab, Utah and must take desperate measures in order to survive. The film, co-written by Boyle and Simon Beaufoy, who won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire, is inspired by Ralston’s memoir, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place,” and features a compelling, Oscar worthy performance by James Franco.
We sat down recently with Simon at a roundtable interview to talk about his collaboration with Danny Boyle. He told us how they set about finding the cinematic potential of a story involving one location and one actor and mined the anti-superhero aspects to reveal the spiritual journey Aron embarks on when he is pushed to the limits of human endurance. Simon also updated us on his upcoming film, Salmon Fishing in Yemen, directed by Lasse Halstrom from his screenplay.
Point Blank Productions has recruited Dear John director Lasse Hallström to direct Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy) in the coming-of-age story Tom’s Dad. According to Variety, Martin Casella’s script sets the film in 1962 Las Vegas, where ” a successful character film actor and a comedy vaudevillian nightclub performer at a crossroads because the changing styles of comedy is making him obsolete. His situation’s complicated by the arrival of his long-estranged young son.” The plot actually sounds very similar to the animated film The Illusionist, though it remains intriguing in both cases.
Dempsey will next star in Transformers 3 and the indie comedy Flypaper. Hallström is attached to direct adaptations of the novels The Danish Girl and Salmon Fishing in Yemen.
We have three pieces of casting news for you (and likely more on the way because of the deals being made at the Cannes Film Festival right now). Leading off, Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, and Kristen Scott Thomas will star in Lasse Hallstrom’s Salmon Fishing in Yemen, written by Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire). Since THR doesn’t say what the movie’s about, I’ll move on to the casting on films where we can give you something more substantial.
First up, Jamie Foxx has signed on to Seth Gordon’s dark comedy Horrible Bosses. Also, Paz Vega will star in Paul Schrader’s The Jesuit with Willem Dafoe, Oscar Isaac, and Michelle Rodriguez in final negotiations to join. For more on both of these projects, hit the jump.
Though they have been together in real life for 12 years or so and even have two kids together, Johnny Depp and French songbird Vanessa Paradis have never starred in a feature film together – until now (unless, of course, you count Lost in La Mancha, which was just a chronicle of Terry Gilliam’s failure to make the Don Quixote movie in which they would both have appeared.)
The movie that will bring them together on screen will be My American Dream, to be directed by Lasse Hallstrom and be about the French feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (Paradis) and her American lover Nelson Algren (Depp, natch.) Here’s what Depp had to say about the flick (with a different title) to BangShowbiz, (via The Playlist):
“It’s called My American Lover. Vanessa plays the French feminist Simone De Beauvour and I play her lover Nelson Algren, who is real macho.”
Hallstrom has never been one of my favorite directors, pretty much producing nothing but treacle since the first movie he made with Depp, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. Here’s hoping their reunion ignites some kind of creative spark inside him. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the book this likely will be based on, and to find out what other high profile project Hallstrom has swiped from Let the Right One In director Tomas Alfredson.
Opening tomorrow is director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape) new film Dear John. Here’s the synopsis:
Based on the best-selling Nicholas Sparks book, Dear John tells the story of John Tyree (Channing Tatum), a young soldier home on leave, and Savannah Curtis (Amanda Seyfried), the idealistic college student he falls in love with during her spring vacation. Over the next seven tumultuous years, the couple is separated by John¹s increasingly dangerous deployments. While meeting only sporadically, they stay in touch by sending a continuous stream of love letters overseas – correspondence that eventually triggers fateful consequences.
While I’m not usually a fan of the Nicholas Sparks genre…I’ll admit to enjoying Dear John a lot more than I expected to. Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried have great chemistry and the romance and story feels believable. If you’re girlfriend/wife asks you to see the film, bite the bullet. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of bad films in this genre and this is definitely not one of them.
To help promote the film, I recently got to speak with Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. Hit the jump to watch what they had to say: