The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud

13 August 2009

Charlie St. Cloud

Zac signed up for a new movie, The Death and Life for Charlie St. Cloud, after he dropped out of Footloose back in March/April. The movie is a supernatural romantic drama based on Ben Sherwood’s novel of the same name and will be directed by Burr Steers and distributed by Universal in 2010.

The film recently started filming in Vancouver. Official shooting dates are from 31 July through 22 October 2009 (based on production lists from various Canadian guilds).

So far only a few cast members have been announced:

Here is a summary of the book courtesy of Ben Sherwood (note: synopsis naturally contains spoilers):

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud is a suspenseful, inspiring story about second chances and the liberating power of love.

The tale begins with a young man narrowly surviving a car wreck that kills his little brother. Years later, the brothers’ bond remains so strong that it transcends the normal boundaries separating life and death.

Charlie St. Cloud lives in a snug New England fishing village. Every day he tends the lawns and monuments of an old cemetery where his younger brother Sam is buried. Every night at sunset he enters a magical world behind the iron gates. Graced with an extraordinary gift after surviving the accident, he can still see, talk and even play catch with Sam’s spirit. But townsfolk whisper that as long as he stays in the graveyard, Charlie will never recover from his loss.

Into his carefully ordered life comes Tess Carroll, a captivating, adventuresome woman training for a solo sailing trip around the globe. Fate steers her boat into a treacherous storm that blows her back to harbor, to a charged encounter with Charlie, and to a surprise more overwhelming than the violent sea itself.

Charlie and Tess discover a beautiful and uncommon connection that leads to a race against time and a desperate choice between death and life, the past and the future, holding on and letting go.

Based on the fact that they are filming in Vancouver and not Marblehead where the book takes place as well as paparazzi pictures taken during pre-production and on set while filming, there are probably a few changes as usual with book adaptions but the core story will surely remain.

Here are the articles from Variety and THR on all casting news so far:

From Variety (24 March 2009):

Zac Efron ready for new ‘Life’

Actor in talks for ‘Charlie St. Cloud’ adaptation

Zac Efron is negotiating to re-team with “17 Again” director Burr Steers on an adaptation of the novel “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud.”

The film will likely be the next for Efron, who just ankled Paramount’s “Footloose” remake.

Former “Good Morning America” exec producer Ben Sherwood wrote the book, about a caretaker at a cemetery who manages to have weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault.

Marc Platt is producing, and while Efron’s deal is still being negotiated, Steers is set and has already begun polishing a script originally written by Craig Pearce, with James Schamus and Lewis Colick also turning in drafts.

Production will begin in July. The Efron-Steers collaboration “17 Again” will be released by New Line/Warner Bros. on April 17.

Paramount is meeting other actors to topline the Kenny Ortega-directed “Footloose,” which the studio still expects will be on its 2010 release schedule.

A script rewrite for “Footloose” was turned in by Susannah Grant, and the studio is firming up music plans. Four songs from the original film will be used, and six new tunes will be added, from various artists. The film will not be a burst-into-song musical, though the heroine in the new film will be a singer.

From The Hollywoodreporter (28 July 2009):

Actress sees ‘St. Cloud’ formation

Amanda Crew to star opposite Zac Efron in adaptation

Amanda Crew has signed to star opposite Zac Efron in “Charlie St. Cloud,” Universal’s supernatural romantic drama that’s being directed by Burr Steers. Marc Platt is producing.

An adaptation of the Ben Sherwood novel, the story centers on a cemetery caretaker (Efron) who has weekly meetings with his younger brother, whose accidental death he blames on himself. He meets a young woman (Crew) believed to be missing in a sailing accident and begins a romantic relationship with her but soon wonders if she is an apparition on the way to the next life.

Steers rewrote the screenplay’s most recent draft by Lewis Colick.

Universal’s Donna Langley, Kristin Lowe and Anikah McLaren are overseeing the project for the studio.

Crew, repped by IFA Talent Agency and Play Management, starred in the recent comedy “Sex Drive” and appeared in the horror hit “The Haunting in Connecticut.”

From Variety (12 August 2009):

Basinger joins Efron in ‘St. Cloud’

Actress to play thesp’s mother in Burr Steers drama

Kim Basinger is negotiating to join Zac Efron in “The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” the Burr Steers-directed drama for Universal Pictures.

Basinger would play the grieving mother of Efron’s character, a caretaker at a cemetery who has weekly meetings with a younger brother whose accidental death he feels was his fault. Efron stepped out of “Footloose” in March to re-unite with his “17 Again” director Steers on the project.

Pic was originally scripted by Craig Pearce and polished by Steers. Marc Platt is producing.

Basinger most recently starred with Charlize Theron in “The Burning Plain,” the Guillermo Arriaga-directed drama that will be released Sept. 18.

There have been also casting rumors about a few minor characters from IMDb, Twitter and set sources:

The first four characters aren’t important enough and the actors not known enough to warrant any official announcements so they sound like they are/could be true. The casting of Augustus Prew is listed as uncredited on IMDb and the character has actually some screentime, so I’m taking the accuracy of that one with a bigger grain of salt right now.

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