If you are an up-and-coming actress in Hollywood, having your freshman television series canceled is pretty devastating. It’s basically the fast-track to a Lifetime Original Movie, which then leads to a few commercials before the industry is practically packing your bags and purchasing a plane ticket for you to head back to whatever dusty town you came from. That was almost Taylor Schilling’s life story, but the 26 year-old isn’t going down without a fight.
The veteran of NBC’s rightfully-so canceled medical drama Mercy has just been given a figurative “1-Up” by Warner Bros. Pictures. Variety says that the studio has cast her as the female lead opposite Zac Efron in its Nicholas Sparks adaptation of The Lucky One. This latest soapy Sparks project, which follows Message In A Bottle, A Walk To Remember, The Notebook, Nights In Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, centers on a Marine who survives three tours in Iraq and attributes his good fortune to a photograph he carried of a woman he has never met. He sets out to meet her when he returns to North Carolina.
As you’ve probably guessed, Schilling will play the mysterious subject of the photograph while Efron will play the soldier. Denise Di Novi, the WB-based former executive who left her post to become a studio producer, will bring the novel to the big screen as she did with A Walk To Remember and Nights In Rodanthe. She’s attached a very capable and talented filmmaker – Scott Hicks – to direct. Hicks, whose past credits include the wonderful David Helfgott biopic Shine and last year’s critically acclaimed The Boys Are Back, will hopefully bring a more mature taste to the project, which was adapted by Will Fetters (Remember Me).
Schilling recently wrapped the questionable adaptation of the classic Ayn Rand novel Atlas Shrugged, in which she stars as Dagny Taggert (a role that had been reserved for more mature, multi-million dollar stars like Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie). The fact that she’s taken on such an iconic character of American literature leads me to believe that there’s more to her than her brief resume suggests. If she can do Taggert justice and if this new film succeeds, she may, in fact, be the lucky one in the future.