By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 15, 2012 at 11:46AM
First announced last summer, it has taken a while for Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' "Safe Haven" to get rolling, but with a Valentine's Day release date already lined up, it's going to have to start shooting soon. And it looks like it may land a pretty top-shelf actress.
Twitch reports that Keira Knightley is in early talks to take the lead in the film, and before you roll your eyes at yet another mushy, gooey romantic drama from the formulaic Sparks mill, this one is apparently a little bit different. The story follows a young North Carolina woman who is determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships. As she begins to fall in love, she struggles with a dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her. So yeah, there is still romance....but also danger. But let's be clear: with a Valentine's bow slated, this probably still delivers the three-hankie ending Sparks fans expect.
If Knightley takes it on, it would be...interesting to say the least. Ever since 'Pirates Of The Caribbean' she has actively courted smaller scale, more interesting work but this could thrust her right back into the mainstream. Those edgier movies probably don't pay the bills in the same way, so maybe this is a way to take one for the team for now. We'll see how this lands, but if Knightley comes aboard, it could attract other, more notable names than have traditionally starred in Sparks movies ("The Notebook" aside). That said, Hallstrom has been on autopilot for a while, with his movies becoming more indistinct each time out, but hopefully with a decent cast, he can raise his game.