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Enjoy viewing the very first poster from Zac Efron’s movie, “The Lucky One.”

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A featurette for “The Lucky One” has just made its way out via Yahoo! Movies. The video provides the first glimpse of scenes from the movie since a trailer is yet to be released for the Zac Efron-starring drama.

In it, Efron’s Marine character named Logan Thibault finds a picture of woman in a war, and compares the experience to finding an angel. After surviving three tours in Iraq, Logan sets out to meet his good-luck charm when he returns to North Carolina.

The movie is based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling book by the same title. In the featurette, the author describes Logan as a typical strong, silent type. Yet, he is very loyal and driven by a strong compulsion to find the woman in the photo.

When he finally meets the woman, Beth, Logan offers her support which she has never had before. Just as love grows between them, Beth’s complicated life will put their relationship to the test.

Taylor Schilling stars opposite Efron as Beth, while Scott Hicks serves behind the lens. The romantic movie will head into theaters across the nation on April 20, 2012. [Source]

Realism isn’t often a staple of romance cinema – films like “The Notebook” and “A Walk to Remember” seem to encourage a suspension of disbelief, rather than a concerted engagement with the real world.

But forthcoming feature “The Lucky One” has endeavoured to subvert this genre convention. The latest in a long line of Nicholas Sparks adaptations, the film focuses on a US marine sergeant (Zac Efron) who returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, determined to find the woman whose photograph has become his good luck charm.

In preparation for the film, Australian director Scott Hicks – whose notable credits include “Shine” and “No Reservations” – immersed himself in the stories of returned US servicemen.

“When I started working on the film, I took Zac down to Camp Pendleton – which is a huge military base in California – and we hung out with a group of Marines who are his age, who really had the experience of the character in the story,” he says. “And what was really interesting was how they all connected with the idea of this photograph – they all had some sort of talisman that they carried with them. One guy had – what had been a playing card once upon a time – but it had been through the laundromat, and it was just shreds of a card that he’d carried on three tours in his helmet. He lost it one time, and panicked, and thought everything was going to come to an end.”

The experience at Camp Pendleton was especially valuable for Efron – whose previous roles haven’t required a great deal of emotional depth.

“It really helped Zac,” Hicks says. “But it was quite difficult, because you are not of [the soldiers’] world. And they’re not sure what your attitude is. So, consequently, they’re not quick to communicate with you. But I just treated it like I was making a documentary or something, and just asked questions, and kept the conversation going. And gradually, they began to open up. And some of the imagery that they inadvertently provided me with, by telling me their personal experiences, really helped. To hear, direct from them, what it’s like to be in a Humvee when it hits an IED, and what impact that has on you physically and mentally – it was a very good session that we spent.”

And while Efron might seem like an odd choice for a marine – “he was concerned that his stature wasn’t going to be right,” Hicks reveals – Nicholas Sparks claims that the actor’s appearance and age only serve to further ground the film in reality.

“When most people think of war movies and the Marines, they conjure up “Saving Private Ryan” – these are people in their thirties,” the author says. “It’s not like that anymore – we don’t have the draft. 95 percent of people who join the military do so right after high school. These guys are 18 years old; 19, 20, 21. So when you see ‘em – they’re kids. It blows you away.”

“I think Zac is 24? He’s old!” Sparks laughs. “Actually, he’s probably the most realistic portrayal of a soldier that we’ve seen.”

“The Lucky One” also stars Blythe Danner and Taylor Schilling, and will see an Australian release on April 19, 2012. [Source]

Zac Efron drama “The Lucky One,” an adaptation of yet another Nicholas Sparks novel, was bumped from an August 12 release next year up to April 20. That’s pretty much a lateral move in terms of release date mojo, with each slot being in a relatively slow but not totally unpopular moviegoing period. It’s been over a year since Efron starred in a film, though, so his April return will be just that much sooner for his remaining legions of fans. [Source]

Warner Bros. Pictures have set a release date for “The Lucky One.” The drama starring “Hairspray” actor Zac Efron is scheduled to open in U.S. theaters on August 24, 2012. The movie joins another WB film to be released in the same month next year, “Rivals.”

In “The Lucky One,” Efron plays Logan Thibault, a Marine who survives three tours in Iraq. He attributes his good fortune to a photograph he carried of a woman he has never met. When he returns to North Carolina, he sets out to meet his good-luck charm.

Based on Nicholas Sparks’ best-selling book by the same title, the movie is directed by Scott Hicks. Other stars signing up for the movie include Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner and Riley Thomas Stewart.

Another film which has just got a release date is “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.” The movie, which tells the story about a group of British retirees who decide to “outsource” their retirement to less expensive and seemingly exotic India, is set to hit theaters on March 9, 2012. The film stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Bill Nighy and Dev Patel. [Source]

Zac Efron’s ghost-whispering role in “Charlie St. Cloud” didn’t earn him any Golden Globe nominations, but the actor still showed up to support his Hollywood peers at this year’s awards. And for us, it was the perfect chance to ask him about his part in the upcoming military film “The Lucky One,” particularly about his, um, guns.

“I knew that, the second I went to camp and met some real Marines, that I didn’t have that presence that they possess,” Zac told us. And by presence, of course, he means massive, writhing muscles.

“They have this way about them, and they’re like 50 lbs. heavier than these guys,” he explained, indicating the lithe and lean crowd of actors milling around behind him. “I started training immediately, to do the best I could.”

But while the rocking bod Zac developed in order to play the role was a nice bonus, he tells us that it was respect for his character that drove the transformation.

“Its a part that’s kind of sensitive,” he explained. “I cared too much about it to just let it slide, so I really put in the work.” [Source]

We’re sure fans of Zac Efron won’t mind seeing him all muscled up for his next film, “The Lucky One,” based on the Nicholas Sparks book of the same name. Not only did Efron get buffed up for the role, but he also shaved off his signature locks to play a marine who, after three tours in Iraq, returns home to North Carolina to look for the unknown woman he believes was his good-luck charm while he was fighting in the war abroad.

“It was hard, man,” Efron recalled about his training for the film when he spoke to MTV News on the Golden Globes red carpet Sunday night (January 16). “I knew that the second I went to Camp Pendleton and met these real marines, I didn’t have that presence.”

So what kind of presence did Efron have to achieve in order to play Logan Thibault in the Scott Hicks-directed film, set for 2012 release? “They’ve got this way about them, but they’re, like, 50 pounds heavier, so I started training immediately to do the best I could,” he explained. ” ‘Cause it’s a kind of sensitive part. I care too much about it to let it slide. I really wanted to put in the work.”

The film follows in the more serious direction Efron has been taking in his roles as of late. Last year, he starred in “Charlie St. Cloud,” but he will return to the world of romantic comedies when he stars in the ensemble rom-com “New Year’s Eve” in December. [Source]

Noticed that there’s more of Zac Efron to love lately? You’re not the only one. The Internet has been abuzz since the newly single “High School Musical” hunk showed up at a Golden Globes party on Monday in a beefier new form. And now Efron has explained the reason behind his super-sizing.

The 23-year-old actor tells E! Online that he packed on 18 pounds for his upcoming starring role in “The Lucky One,” which recently finished filming. In the movie, Efron plays an Iraq war veteran who returns home to North Carolina and embarks on a search for the woman he believes served as his good-luck charm during the war.

So what was Zac’s secret to achieving his Marines-ready physique? Efron explains, “I was just eating, eating and eating.”

Eating constantly, and still maintaining that physique? Apparently, Efron’s luck extends beyond the battlefield. [Source]

Zac Efron was spotted on the set of “The Lucky One” earlier this year. Enjoy the pics! By the way, Just Jared reports that Vanessa Hudgens was seen with former boyfriend Zac Efron at Bloomingdales. Good news on the way?

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On The Set (x8)

When crew members heard “cut” on set of the Zac Efron drama “The Lucky One,” which wrapped a 10-week New Orleans shoot on Tuesday (Dec. 21), they took it to heart. And so as actor-heartthrob Efron heads home for the holidays, he is leaving behind a much balder crew base than that which he found while adding cash to the coffers of a New Orleans charity.

Efron’s character in the Warner Bros. film – based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, but reset from North Carolina to Louisiana – is a Marine fresh from his third tour of duty in Iraq. While overseas, he finds a photo of a mysterious woman that ends up becoming his good-luck charm. Once back home, he sets out on a quest to find her and thank her for watching over him. And if romance should blossom in the process? Well, this is a Nicholas Sparks story, after all.

In addition to visiting the gym regularly to bulk up for the role and growing a dashing chin of stubble, Efron had his hair trimmed in a military-style buzzcut. That got him thinking: why should he be the only one making tonsorial sacrifices for the film? So he made a deal with the crew last week: for every crew member who also shaved his or her head, Efron would donate cash to Kingsley House.

By the time the shears had stopped, some 30 crew members had put themselves on the chopping block, including two women whose lengthy castoffs were donated to Locks of Love, the national organization that makes wigs for sick children. Just as importantly, Efron was on the hook for thousands of dollars, although his Los Angeles-based publicist, Gina Hoffman, declined to provide an exact figure.

“He likes doing things for charity – two Make-A-Wish kids came a visit to the set while he was there – and he felt like he wanted to do something for a New Orleans charity since he had such a nice time shooting there,” Hoffman said Tuesday afternoon.

Efron’s donation isn’t the only example of community outreach from “The Lucky One” production. Co-star Taylor Schilling joined a litany of local figures – including Bryan Batt, John “Spud” McConnell, Garland Robinette and Bobby Hebert – in reading stories for the nonprofit radio station WBRH 88.3 FM, Radio for the Blind and Print Handicapped.

Schilling’s selection, “Olive, the Other Reindeer,” and all the others, will air on Christmas, starting at 11 a.m.

In addition, the production’s greens department is donating 300 plants used in the film – azaleas, ligustrums, bamboo, juniper – to Growing Home NOLA, which is dedicated to helping landscape lots left vacant by Hurricane Katrina, says unit publicist Claire Raskind.

“The Lucky One,” directed by Scott Hicks (“Shine,” “No Reservations”), co-stars Blythe Danner (“Little Fockers”), Riley Thomas Stewart (“90210”), Jay R. Ferguson (“Mad Men”) and Adam Lefevre (“The Bounty Hunter”). The production shot throughout the New Orleans area, primarily in St. Bernard Parish, Covington, Abita Springs, Ponchatoula and Madisonville. No release date has been set. [Source]

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