As much as I would love to see the Judd Hirsch sitcom turned into a movie, New Line's Dear John is not based on a television show. As you can see from the headline, the movie is an adaptation of the Nicolas Sparks novel. And as we told you a few months ago, it's about a doomed long-distance romance between a college student and a U.S. soldier. The actress playing the student hasn't yet been revealed, but the soldier will be played by Channing Tatum, an actor who I'd like to see become more recognized and celebrated (if you haven't seen him in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, do yourself a favor and queue the film up). As far as Sparks adaptations go, I hope Dear John is Tatum's Notebookinstead of his Walk to Remember, because the former helped shoot Ryan Gosling to stardom while the latter did nothing for Shane West's career.
Dear John doesn't have a director, but producers Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey (The Nativity Story) have just hired a screenwriter: Jamie Linden, who penned We Are Marshall and an upcoming adaptation of Carolyn Parkhurst's novel The Dogs of Babel, which is about a man attempting to teach his dog to talk. All three stories deal with loss, although as far as I know Dear John doesn't deal with a tragedy like those dealt with in both Marshall and Dogs. It does center around 9/11, however, so I guess it doesn't need any more deaths. Of course, I do imagine the weepy irony of Sparks' novel to be that Tatum's character dies in the end, just as the student decides to retract her 'Dear John' letter. If this is what happens, don't spoil it for us. We can go into the theater prepared to cry, but that doesn't mean we want to know why we're going to cry.