Catherine Hardwicke leaves IF I STAY; Heitor Dhalia replacing

Joshua Brunsting

by: Joshua Brunsting
October 21st, 2010

Apparently Catherine Hardwicke is cleaning out her closet full of projects.

Varietyis reporting that the director has left the upcoming adaptation of the Gayle Forman novel, If I Stay, which currently has Dakota Fanning in the film’s lead role. Taking her place will be Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia.

The story follows a musician, played by Fanning, who must come face to face with tough decisions and choices between her art and her relationship with an artist. After a car crash, she must then choose between life and death. The story has drawn comparisons to the Alice Sebold novel The Lovely Bones, particularly the story’s use of flashbacks and look at familial relationships.

The film is being set up at Summit, and while the premise sounds a little uninteresting, the Lovely Bones comparisons, the attachment of Shauna Cross (writer of last year’s surprisingly solid Drew Barrymore-directed film, WHIP IT) to pen the screenplay, and Fanning starring, this news definitely sits a bit easier. I’m a rather big Hardwicke fan, so it’s sad to see her leave the film, as it sounds like one that is right up her alley, but this may ultimately prove to be best for the project.

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