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Of all the genres that employ high concepts within their stories, romantic dramas are somewhere at the bottom of the list, often opting for more realistic storytelling without stretching the imagination. Lionsgate will be bucking that trend, as it has signed on to distribute the long-gestating project The Age of Adaline from Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Lakeshore Entertainment. Not only that, but they’ve made an interesting director choice in Lee Toland Krieger (Celeste & Jesse Forever), and landed a pair of stars in the Academy Award winning actress Ellen Burstyn (Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore) and Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively. Still no word on a male lead yet, but this influx of talent should attract a pretty recognizable name to the role.
With a script written by J. Mills Goodloe and Salvador Paskowitz, The Age of Adaline will follow the 29-year-old title character whose life takes a dramatic turn once she gets into a near-fatal accident, only to find out she stops aging once she heals. Her immortal life stretches across the 20th century, as she takes on journey around the world, hiding her secrets until she eventually meets a man for whom she is willing to alter her ageless living. Has it got your attention yet?
The project was originally conceived a few years back, and had Katherine Heigl attached to star, but that obviously never happened. According to Deadline, Allison Burnett (Underworld: Awakening) revised the script in the meantime, and I guess those revisions were good enough to attract this squad.
Burstyn has had a good run on TV lately, starring in the miniseries Coma and winning an Emmy for her work on USA’s miniseries Political Animals; she’ll also star in Lifetime’s remake of Flowers in the Attic, which should be hella interesting. She has a slate of films coming out over the next year or so, including the David Baldacci family drama adaptation Wish You Well, Jason Stone’s serial killer thriller The Calling, Rachid Bouchareb’s culture-crossing drama Enemy Way and Ivan Reitman’s football comedy Draft Day. But her biggest upcoming role will no doubt be in Christopher Nolan’s epic sci-fi thriller Interstellar, which is currently filming.
Lively, meanwhile, has nowhere near as strong a film career, with unmemorable performances in Green Lantern and Hick giving way to an out-of-this-worldly bland gig for Oliver Stone’s hyper-violent thriller Savages, in which she gives some of the most on the nose narration in film history. It’s in this film she utters the guilty pleasure quote, “I have orgasms. He has wargasms,” a quote that will echo inside the brain for hours after hearing it. But Gossip Girl’s absence from TV means Lively will probably be getting more parts in the future, so here’s hoping she nails this one.
There’s no word yet on when production will begin, but we’re going to stop aging until Lionsgate lets us know.