The highly anticipated romantic drama, Dear John, based on a Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name and starring Channing Tatum (Step Up, GI Joe) and Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!, Big Love), premiered tonight at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
The film’s stars were in attendance, as was Tatum’s wife, actress Jenna Dewan, the film’s director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat, The Cider House Rules) and author Nicholas Sparks.
The Hollywood premiere was not the world premiere for Dear John, however. Two prior screenings took place in January, events designed to “give back” to the communities that played a role in the film’s production.
Filmed at various South Carolina movie locations (Charleston, Edisto Island and Sullivan’s Island), Dear John tells the story of Special Ops soldier John Tyree (Tatum) and Savannah Curtis (Seyfried), a college student he falls in love with while on leave. The young lovers are separated when Tatum heads off to war and keep in touch as years pass via a series of letters.
Tatum commented on the film’s military-related storyline, saying:
I think soldiers are just such extraordinary people and do such extraordinary things. That’s why Nicholas [Sparks] picked it. It’s so honor-filled.”
The first screening for Dear John was presented exclusively for military service personnel and their families at North Carolina’s Fort Bragg, and the second was a showing in Charleston, South Carolina, on January 24 for the benefit of the Carolina Autism.
There is a back-story in the film about a six-year-old autistic boy named Alan who John befriends, a character who is portrayed by Braeden Reed, a young boy who lives in Charleston with his family and is autistic. Interestingly, the boy’s on-screen father is played by actor Henry Jackson Thomas, who is perhaps best remembered as “Elliott Taylor” from the film E.T. the Extraterrestrial.
Dear John opens in wide release on February 5, 2010.