Principal photography begins today on the film adaptation of Safe Haven, based on the best-selling novel from internationally-known author Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John), starring Josh Duhamel (Transformers, Life As We Know It) and Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages, Footloose). David Lyons (Apocalypse, Sea Patrol) has also been added to the cast. Oscar® and DGA-nominee Lasse Hallström (The Cider House Rules) will direct the screenplay written by Dana Stevens (City Of Angels) and Les Bohem (Dante’s Peak).
Collaborating with Hallström behind the scenes is a creative below-the-line team including: director of photography Terry Stacey (P.S. I Love You), production designer Kara Lindstrom (In the Line of Fire), art director RA Arancio-Parrain (Ten Year), costume designer Leigh Leverett (The Vampire Diaries), editor Andy Mondshein (Chocolat) and stunt coordinator John Copeman (She’s Out of My League).
As with many of Sparks’ film adaptations, filming for Safe Haven will take place in Sparks’ native state North Carolina in the small town of Southport.
Safe Haven is an affirming and suspenseful story about Katie, a young woman who struggles to find love again after she arrives in a small North Carolina town. Her reluctance to join the tight-knit community raises questions about her past. Slowly, she begins putting down roots, and gains the courage to start a relationship with Alex, a widowed store owner with two young children. But dark secrets intrude on her new life with such terror that she is forced to rediscover the meaning of sacrifice and rely on the power of love in this deeply moving romantic thriller.
Hough will star as Katie and Duhamel will play her blossoming small town love interest Alex. Lyons has signed on to play Hough’s estranged husband in the film.
Producing are Temple Hill Entertainment’s Marty Bowen (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) and Wyck Godfrey (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) alongside Relativity’s CEO Ryan Kavanaugh (The Fighter). Sparks, who recently launched his production company, Nicholas Sparks Productions, will also produce. Relativity’s Tooley (The Fighter) will serve as executive producer.
“It’s great to be back in the Carolinas with Lasse Hallstrom,” said Temple Hill Entertainment’s Bowen and Godfrey. “We’re all thrilled to be working on this adaptation and that Nicholas Sparks has trusted us with his special novel. His fans will not be disappointed.”
Relativity Media will release the film theatrically worldwide, opening in North America on February 8, 2013.