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A Soldier Searches for His Lucky Charm in “The Lucky One”

Warner Bros. brings Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller “The Lucky One” to the big screen starring Zac Efron (“Charlie St. Cloud,” “New Year’s Eve”) and Taylor Schilling (upcoming “Argo”). The passionate, romantic drama is directed by Academy Award®-nominated writer/director Scott Hicks (“Shine,” “No Reservations”).

In the film, U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn’t even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

“The Lucky One” marks the fourth film Denise DiNovi has produced based on the acclaimed, best-selling novels of Nicholas Sparks, including “Message in a Bottle,” “A Walk to Remember” and “Nights in Rodanthe.” “I fell in love with his writing when I first read `The Notebook,’” DiNovi recalls. “I was just completely blown away by how beautifully romantic and imaginative it was. Every one of his books is a completely original story, yet they all renew your faith in the power of love to heal and to transform lives. They’re also always grounded in reality. When you read the books or see the movies, you think, ‘That could happen to me,’ or ‘I wish that would happen to me.’ Everyone wants to believe that love can conquer all, and that theme resonates so deeply in `The Lucky One.’”

With a screenplay by Will Fetters (“Remember Me”), DiNovi turned to the vision of director Scott Hicks, who has made such expansive, emotionally resonant films as “Shine,” “Hearts in Atlantis” and, most recently, “No Reservations,” to bring the story to life. “In Scott’s work I have seen the ability to make human emotion completely captivating, emotional and compelling,” she says. “He is also such a beautiful director in terms of visuals. He has an amazing eye for imagery, and this story has such a diverse visual scope—from the scenes in Iraq to the lushness and sensuality of New Orleans. He also has the rare ability to capture onscreen the unspoken layers to a relationship. That’s a very difficult thing to do, but he has that kind of eye.”

Hicks was immediately affected by the story and was intrigued by the notion of characters whose lives are intertwined by luck rather than geographic proximity or other formal constructs. “I found the whole idea of chance and fate—and how a random event like finding a photograph in the middle of a war zone—could change so many lives and have an impact on all the characters in the story,” he says. “I think everybody has probably experienced something in their lives where a chance encounter or meeting is a turning point. And I’m sure many people feel the same way. That element is something I found very appealing.”

Hicks’s wife, Kerry Keysen, is his partner in life and in work, serving as a co-producer on the movie. “I am a firm believer in the power of moments,” Heysen says, “because some people really do take their chances and follow their dreams and I think it’s good that we show the value of doing those things.”

Opening across the Philippines in April, “The Lucky One” will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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Tags: Inquirer Movies , The Lucky One

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