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DEFINITELY, MAYBE

About The Production
Definitely, Maybe was born a few years ago, when writer/director Adam Brooks decided to pen a love story that spanned more than one decade. "There used to be a tradition of movies that took place over a long period of time,” the filmmaker says, "and what I loved about them was how much you would get invested in the characters because of the long span of the story.” The romantic comedy Brooks envisioned, along with its unusual twist of a male protagonist driving the story, was given a complicated setting: the world of politics.

"I like the tradition of romantic comedies that have a bigger backdrop than just the love story that's going on—a movie like Broadcast News, for example,” adds Brooks. "I always wanted to do a story about a young man coming to the big city with all his hopes and dreams.”

In the screenplay, Brooks' main character, Will Hayes, is a soon-to-be-divorced dad who relives his early years as an aspiring politician, while he tries to explain to his 10-year-old daughter how he came to marry the woman he is now divorcing: her mother.

As a screenwriter, Brooks had previously collaborated with the U.K.-based Working Title Films on several projects, including Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Wimbledon and French Kiss. His long-time collaborators approached him with the idea of not only writing, but also directing his next romantic comedy. They agreed it would— in no way—be generic or formulaic. "They're my movie home,” Brooks describes. "I write with total confidence and trust when I'm working with them. And I know that when you're developing a movie with Working Title, there's a very good chance that it's going to get made.”

The production company, headed by Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan, has recently produced such films as Atonement, United 93, Mr. Bean's Holiday, Love Actually, The Interpreter, Notting Hill and O Brother, Where Art Thou? and retains long, continuous creative collaborations with such talent as Richard Curtis, Hugh Grant, Cate Blanchett, Keira Knightley, the Coen Brothers, Colin Firth, Rowan Atkinson and Emma Thompson, among many others.

It has remained important for Fellner and Bevan to offer filmmakers, as Fellner summarizes, "studio resources with the filmmaking attitude of an independent.” Brooks' latest project was no exception. "If you find talented people—writers or directors or actors—and you work with them on a regular basis,” explains Fellner "it just goes like an incredible shorthand with a trust that develops.”

The characters in Brooks' script for Definitely, Maybe appealed to the producers, who enjoyed the fact that the story was not just about how two people fall in love, with the concomitant pitfalls that keep them apart. "I liked the idea of trying to build a film around a number of relationships, not just one,” Fellner states.

Working Title's Liza Chasin, who served as executive producer on such films as Pride & Prejudice and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, had worked with Brooks on eight projects and would serve as executive producer on Definitely, Maybe. She describes the decision for Brooks to direct as an easy one, surmising, "It was a natural progression in the relationship that he was going to direct the next project.”

Fellner agreed that Brooks, who had previously helmed Almost You, starring Griffin Dunne and Brooke Adams, as well as The Invisible Circus, starring Cameron Diaz, was the correct choice to helm Definitely, Maybe. "He came up with it; he created it; he knew it,” says Fellner. "We were keen for him to have that opportunity.”

Most critical in casting the players was to start with the film's central character, aspiring politico Will Hayes. With his work as FBI Special Agent Richard Messner in Working Title's 2007 action-thriller Smokin' Aces, actor Rya

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