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STEP UP Screenwriter Duane Adler Makes Directorial Debut With MAKE YOUR MOVE, Out 4/18
Filmmaker Duane Adler, best known for his dance-centric, youth-driven screenplays for Save The Last Dance and the Step Up films, two of the highest-grossing teen romance films in The Past four decades, will make his directorial debut with MAKE YOUR MOVE, to be released on April 18 in theaters across the country by Film District. The film was produced by CJ Entertainment, SM Entertainment and Robert Cort Productions.
Both Save The Last Dance and Step Up have landed in the top ten of all-time box office for dance films with worldwide grosses of nearly $250 million each. To date, the Step Up franchise has grossed over $550 million in theatrical box office worldwide, while Step Up 5 will be released in Summer 2014.
Adler is undoubtedly a key contributor to the re-emergence of the enormous, enduring appeal of music and dance in American popular culture. Adler's original screenplays for Save The Last Dance and Step Up both pre-figure the Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance? craze and arguably established the careers of then-newcomers Julia Stiles, Kerry Washington and Channing Tatum.
MAKE YOUR MOVE, which follows a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale of Donny, an American dancer from New Orleans who's a some-time bad boy, and Aya, a spunky, sultry Asian taiko drummer, stars Dancing With The Stars' Derek Hough and multi-platinum-selling K-Pop star BoA.
Set in Brooklyn against the backdrop of the underground dance club scene, MAKE YOUR MOVE not only features some super-charged, mesmerizing dance-off and drumming set pieces, it also engages the audience with its diverse, multi-cultural cast. Although there is definitely a "star-crossed" quality to Donny's and Aya's growing intimacy, it's due less to their cultural differences and more to the bitter rivalry between their brothers, who own competing dance clubs and who would be only too happy to see the other Erased from the scene.
Both Save The Last Dance and the Step Up films also have elements of diversity and transcendence when it comes to culture, race and economic class, common threads in all Adler's work.
Adler cites "the Universal language and appeal" of music and dance as a primary motivation in making them focal points of the story. Whatever their other distinctions or disparities, the characters in MAKE YOUR MOVE share the common ground of chasing their dreams, amidst the cut-throat competition and long odds that come with life in New York City. Adler consciously chose a more matter-of-fact approach in presenting the multiplicity of the cast's backgrounds, placing the deeper aspects of their characters in the forefront.
"Our story is set in Brooklyn, one of the most ethnically diverse cities and neighborhoods in the world. I wanted the film to reflect that. The diversity of our cast feels very 'today', especially as our world has shrunk on a global scale, and young people are exposed to so much cultural range, in the classroom, in their daily lives and via the internet,"comments Adler.