Julianne Hough Heading for a 'Safe Haven' Opposite Josh Duhamel
by Ben Pearson
May 30, 2012
With "Dancing with the Stars" and the Footloose remake in her rearview, Julianne Hough is poised for a breakout performance in this summer's ode to 80's rock music, Rock of Ages. Hough is playing the female lead, and if she can hold her own against A-listers like Tom Cruise and Alec Baldwin, she just might become the next big thing. Relativity Media is certainly hoping she's a hit with the female crowd, since they've just cast her opposite Josh Duhamel in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel Safe Haven. She'll play a mysterious woman who moves to a small town to start a new life, but some dark secrets follow close behind.
Hough's character slowly opens up and starts a relationship with Josh Duhamel's widowed store owner, and the film turns into a "romantic thriller" once elements of her past come back into the equation. Sounds a lot like the 1991 Julia Roberts movie Sleeping With The Enemy, in which Roberts starts a new life to escape the clutches of an abusive husband. I'm hoping Safe Haven hews closer to Sleeping With The Enemy than many other Sparks adaptations, which tend to get overly dramatic and weepy. The "dark secrets" angle might actually help this one stand out from its contemporaries, but we'll have to wait until next year to find out what those secrets are. Dear John helmer Lasse Hallstrom is behind the camera on this one, and filming starts next month for a February 2013 release, likely in time for Valentine's Day dates.