Teen Wolf actor Daniel Sharman and Arrow actor Stephen Amell join a new Hallmark project called When Calls the Heart, based off of Janette Oke’s novel of the same name.
According to a Hallmark press release, via The Futon Critic, When Calls the Heart will debut first as a two hour film, acting as a pilot for the television show that will follow. The film will premiere on October 5, and the show will begin with 10 episodes in January 2014.
The movie has an all star cast that, aside from Sharman and Amell, also includes Maggie Grace (Taken 2), Jean Smart (Designing Women), Lori Loughlin (90210), and Poppy Drayton. Smart is a three-time Emmy award winner. The film is written and directed by Michael Landon Jr.
This is the second original Hallmark series based off of Oke’s work, the first being Love Comes Softly, which was met with a great deal of success and is one of the reasons why Hallmark was looking into doing another series based off of one of Oke’s novels.
The synopsis of the film and followup series is as follows:
When Calls the Heart is the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Drayton), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom post in a prairie town in the Western Frontier lead by headstrong coalminer widows Abigail (Loughlin) and Frances (Smart). She is determined to prove to her family that she is brave enough to live on her own, but struggles with her own fears and doubts. When she discovers her late Aunt Elizabeth’s (Grace) secret diary, Elizabeth learns she was a pioneer woman herself, a teacher in the frontier who struggled with prairie life and fell in love with a Royal Canadian Mountie (Amell). Inspired by her aunt’s hopeful words and unfaltering determination, Elizabeth decides to embark on her own adventure, using the diary as her guide and family friend Edward, another Mountie (Sharman), as her support.
It’s exciting to see both Sharman and Amell working on a project together, and especially one so different from their current projects. Sharman plays a werewolf on Teen Wolf and has been promoted to series regular for season 3, which will kick off on June 3. Amell plays the lead in Arrow, which will return with its next episode, “Salvation,” on March 27.