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The latest entry in the blockbuster Fast and Furious franchise pulls into theaters this month, with exciting car stunts and, sadly, some of the last big-screen work of late actor Paul Walker. The film, which hits theaters April 3, is one of the most anticipated movies of the year — not just April, which also sees the return of Kevin James‘ mall cop, Paul Blart, and the latest Nicholas Sparks adaptation, The Longest Ride, starring Clint Eastwood‘s son, Scott, and up-and-comer Britt Robertson.
Also this month, Blake Lively and Harrison Ford return to the big screen in The Age of Adaline and Jonah Hill and James Franco team up for Fox Searchlight’s True Story. At the end of April, Russell Crowe‘s directorial debut, The Water Diviner, will finally hit U.S. theaters.
Read on to watch the trailers for and learn more about these highly anticipated films, presented in chronological order by release date, to better plan your April moviegoing.
Furious 7 (April 3): The latest Fast and Furious movie is a bittersweet installment for fans of the franchise. The most recent film in the blockbuster car-racing series is also the last movie of late star Paul Walker, who died in the middle of filming. The actor had completed his dramatic scenes and most of his action shots for the film before he was killed in a tragic November 2013 car accident.
Universal put production on hiatus for several months and moved the title from its original release date of July 11, 2014. To complete Walker’s character’s storyline, director James Wan used footage of Walker from earlier films and his brothers Cody and Caleb as stand-ins when necessary. The movie, which features more of the franchise’s impressive auto stunts, also stars Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris.
The Longest Ride (April 10): The latest big-screen adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks romance novel stars Clint Eastwood’s son, Scott, and up-and-comer Britt Robertson as a young couple whose lives intersect with an elderly man who, while trapped in a car accident, sees visions of his late wife and their life together.
Several members of the team behind Fox’s hit Fault in Our Stars adaptation also worked on this movie. Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber worked with Craig Bolotin and Brad Desch to adapt the screenplay. Temple Hill’s Wyck Godfrey and Marty Bowen, who also worked on TFIOS, are producing The Longest Ride alongside Theresa Park. The film is the 10th Sparks adaptation to hit the big screen, following The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John, The Last Song, The Lucky One, Safe Haven and The Best of Me. Those movies have made roughly $800 million combined at the box office.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (April 17): Kevin James returns as the titular mall cop in this sequel to the 2009 comedy. Although panned by critics, the first Paul Blart film made $183.3 million at the box office. In the sequel, James’ security guard heads to Las Vegas, where he tries to thwart a planned heist. James co-wrote the script with Nick Bakay, his co-writer on the 2009 film, and is also producing along with Adam Sandler via his Happy Madison banner.
True Story (April 17): In this movie based on a, well, true story, James Franco plays an accused murderer who had been living under the assumed identity of disgraced journalist Michael Finkel, played by Jonah Hill, and strikes a deal to tell the real Finkel his life story. The film, directed by Rupert Goold and co-starring Theory of Everything actress Felicity Jones, focuses on the relationship between the two characters who develop a precarious bond.
The Age of Adaline (April 24): Blake Lively plays the title character who stops aging at 29 after a near-fatal car accident in 1935. She embarks on an epic journey, keeping her secret until she meets a man who forever alters her life. Harrison Ford co-stars as a man who’s convinced he knew Adaline years ago. Ellen Burstyn and Michiel Huisman round out the cast of the Lee Toland Krieger film from Lionsgate, Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, with Lionsgate releasing the film in the U.S.
The Water Diviner (April 24): Russell Crowe’s directorial debut is finally hitting U.S. theaters after the film became the top-grossing homegrown film of 2014 in Australia. The title also tied with acclaimed horror film The Babadook for best film at Australia’s preeminent film and TV honors, the Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. Crowe also stars in the film as an Australian farmer who travels to Turkey in search of his sons, missing after the World War I Battle of Gallipoli. The war drama is being released on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli invasion. Olga Kurylenko and Jai Courtney co-star in the film.
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