Efron to play leading man

By Hayley Woodin [entertainment bureau chief]

Zac Efron will star in a new romantic drama called “The Lucky One.”

The teenage heartthrob will play the role of U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault, acting alongside Blythe Danner (“Meet the Parents,” “Meet the Fockers”) and Taylor Schilling in the screenplay based on the bestselling Nicholas Sparks novel under the same title.

While at war, Logan found a photo of an unknown woman: the photograph itself proved to be a good luck charm for the Marine.

In the film, Logan returns home from Iraq to North Carolina, on a mission to find Beth, the woman whose picture he claims kept him alive while at war.

After finding the woman (Schilling), Logan takes a job working with her at her family-run kennel. The story develops as Beth and Logan get to know each other, which leads to the beginnings of a romantic relationship.

The movie, directed by Academy Award-nominated writer and director Scott Hicks, is currently being filmed in New Orleans, Louisiana, with the help of cinematographer Alar Kivilo (“The Blind Side”), costume designer Dayna Pink (“Bruno”) and producers Denise Di Novi (“A Walk to Remember,” “Nights in Rodanthe”) and Kevin McCormick, among others.

Adding to the cast are Riley Thomas Stewart (TV’s “90210”), Jay R. Gerfusion (TV’s “Mad Men”) and Adam Lefevre (“The Bounty Hunter”).

Both Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures are behind the film; Warner Bros. Pictures is principally in charge of distribution, with Village Roadshow Pictures in charge or the film’s distribution in selected territories.

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