Marsden stepped in for Paul Walker, after his death, in the Nicholas Sparks film about high school sweethearts who reconnect 20 years later
There’s something magical and powerful about teenage love, and it is the power of that love that sits at the center of the latest Nicholas Sparks film, “The Best of Me.” James Marsden stepped in for Paul Walker, after his death in November 2013, as the adult version of the male lead.
The film, based on the 2011 novel of the same name, tells a love story 20 years in the making. Luke Bracey portrays a younger Dawson, with Marsden playing him later in life. Liana Liberato plays opposite Bracey as a young Amanda, while it is Michelle Monaghan that Marsden reconnects with as an adult.
Dawson and Amanda fell in love as teenagers in high school, but Amanda’s father forbade them from being together. As the film’s trailer shows, the two shared a passionate love as teens that didn’t diminish with time. Two decades later, they reunited and discovered that they’d never stopped loving one another.
Directed by Michael Hoffman, “The Best of Me” was written by Will Fetters, J. Mills Goodloe and Michael Hoffman, based on Sparks’ novel. The Relativity Media film was produced by Sparks, Justin Burns, Denise Di Novi, Alison Greenspan, and Ryan Kavanaugh, with Tucker Tooley as executive producer.
Co-starring Sebastian Arcelus, Caroline Goodall, Jon Tenney, Schuyler Fisk, Ian Nelson, and Gerald McRaney, “The Best of Me” debuts in theaters on Friday, October 17, 2014.