You may think of Zac Efron merely as the blue-eyed, fair-haired stuff of teenage dreams, but it turns out the “HSM” heartthrob has a Hollywood dream of his own–to be a serious actor. Setting more ambitious projects in motion the moment he hit his 20s, Efron has carefully planned his transition to mature thespian, including an upcoming streak of action and edgier drama projects. If you want to scrub away a squeaky clean Disney image, this is the way to do it.
In 2009, Zac Efron assured MTV that he wouldn’t be making any drastic leaps from teen musicals to “the next ‘Trainspotting’ sequel.” Turns out he’ll instead modulate through upcoming Nicolas Sparks film “The Lucky One” before moving on to a coke runner role in remake “Snabba Cash”. The original Swedish film’s trailer on /Film indicates that a stylish and gritty “Snabba” could make “Trainspotting” look quaint.
Also in the pipe for Zac Efron is an adaptation of the graphic novel “Fire”, by prolific writer and artist Brian Michael Bendis. The thriller “Fire” involves a shadowy special project of the CIA, which turns ordinary citizens into spies and assassins. Efron will play a hot new recruit to the division who just may find himself on the hit list. Ethan Anderton of FirstShowing.net calls “Fire” “the right move” for Efron’s transition to adult roles, and the thought of Efron making a “Bourne Identity”-esque action fest definitely has its appeal.
Keeping up the sexy action star status, Zac Efron will tackle the movie “Art of the Steal”, playing a wily thief who casually plots heists while going about his outwardly normal life. The story will be based on Joshuah Bearman’s “Wired” article and promises plenty of clever thefts and cons. The appealing rogue role has worked well for stars like Leonardo DiCaprio (“Catch Me If You Can”) and Pierce Brosnan (“Thomas Crown Affair”), and could help polish Efron’s adult actor status.
Zac Efron will keep his romantic fans happy with a little Romeo and Juliet angst in upcoming New York drama “Die in a Gunfight”. Playing a young man in love with the daughter of a family enemy, Efron keeps things lively with “Gunfight”, a film “Deadline” calls “high octane action”.
In Zac Efron’s cameo appearance on HBO series “Entourage”, Ari (Jeremy Piven) teases Zac that he’d love to get him a production credit on “College Musical”. Efron’s producing aspirations are no joke, however, and he’s set to produce on both “Fire” and “Snabba Cash”. Producing the films is another wise choice for Efron, helping him maintain control of the projects and the adult image he wants to project.
While it’s obvious Zac Efron has serious plans for serious roles in the near future, he won’t be begging you to take him seriously. “‘Taken seriously’ is pretty vague,” he tells “USA today”. “Everyone has to (prove themselves). I did when I was on stage at 15. I always have. That’s who we are. It’s ingrained in my psyche.” Take a look at his first role, a flawless performance as a young, earnest Dr. Simon Tam on TV series “Firefly”, and you’ll see Zac Efron: The Serious Actor has been there from the very start.
Zac Efron, Wonderland Magazine Man.
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