Is there any leading man as non-essential and bland as Josh Duhamel? Say what you will about the Nicholas Sparks adaptations, but so far they’ve (for the most part) gone with men who at least have some appeal to some spectrum of the female population that drives these things. Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Zac Efron, Liam Hemsworth and even oldies like Kevin Costner and Richard Gere were decent enough choices for their respective films. But who even says, “That Josh Duhamel is soooo cute. Can’t wait to see his next movie!”
Well, Relativity thinks somebody does, because they’ve picked the actor to lead “Safe Haven,” the latest movie adaptation from the Sparks romance machine, set to be directed by the equally forgettable (these days) Lasse Hallstrom. The story follows a young North Carolina woman who is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into a relationship with a widowed store owner with kids (that’s the part Duhamel will play). As she begins to fall in love, she struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her.
At one point Keira Knightley was said to be in early talks to play the female lead, but she has since moved on, and thank God, because she can do better than another softball Hallstrom movie, based on a Sparks book starring opposite Duhamel. But the filmmakers will need to find someone soon, as this movie is already slated to hit theaters less than a year from now, on February 8, 2013 where it will go up against the recently moved Keanu Reeves blockbuster “47 Ronin.” Good luck with that. [Variety]