Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough have officially signed on to Relativity Media’s “Safe Haven.”
The film is based on Nicholas Sparks’ novel about a young woman’s struggle to rediscover love after moving to a small coastal town. It is set to start production next month in North Carolina and further casting will be announced soon.
Lasse Hallstrom, a two-time Oscar nominee for "My Life as a Dog" and “The Cider House Rules,” will direct.
Hough, star of this summer’s “Rock of Ages,” will play the female lead, Katie. Duhamel will play Alex, a widowed store owner with whom Katie shares a relationship.
“It’s hard to think of an actor better-suited to play the character of Alex than Josh, and Julianne will bring a combination of vulnerability and strength to the role of Katie,” Sparks said in a statement. “They are both such talented and charismatic individuals — and best of all, they have tremendous personal chemistry, which is essential for this film.”
Also Read: 6 Breakout Stars of Summer 2012
Chemistry is an integral ingredient to most of Sparks’ work. This will be the eighth of his romantic novels to earn a film adaption, a list that includes “The Notebook,” “Message in a Bottle” and this year’s “The Lucky One.”
The majority of those movies have been at least modest hits at the box office, including Relativity’s “Dear John," which took in more than $80 million in the U.S. in 2010.
Sparks will also produce under his new Nicholas Sparks Productions banner.