First Look: Zac Efron in Linklater's Me and Orson Welles
You probably skipped passed this film in the listings for this year's Toronto Film Festival line-up. I would have missed it myself if it weren't for my affinity for filmmaker Richard Linklater. We know that he's directing the upcoming School of Rock 2, but Linklater has also been out working on a project titled Me and Orson Welles. The film tells the story of a 17-year-old boy, played by Zac Efron, who is cast in a young Orson Welles' theatrical production of "Julius Ceasar" in 1937. It's not a comedy, but I can't quite understand why Linklater, who is known for dabbling in the metaphysical, would tackle a period piece like this. Either way, we've got the first few shots of Efron in the film that premieres next month in Toronto.
Thanks to the guys over at Twitch, who we'll be joining for 10 days in Toronto, for digging these up.
Seventeen-year-old Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) spends his days dreaming of the bright lights of Broadway. He gets his big break when he happens upon Orson Welles (Christian McKay) and his fledgling Mercury Theatre company. Richard impresses Welles with an impromptu audition and lands a bit part in the Mercury's forthcoming run of Julius Caesar. With Welles's womanizing taking priority over rehearsals, chaos and calamity mark the production from the start. Before long, opening night has arrived and Richard will discover the terrible secrets of show business.
Me and Orson Welles is directed by Richard Linklater, of Dazed and Confused, Waking Life, Before Sunset, and A Scanner Darkly previously. The screenplay was adapted by first-time writers Holly Gent Palmo and Vincent Palmo Jr., who was a second unit director on nearly all of Linklater's films. The film is based on a novel of the same name written by Robert Kaplow. It hasn't picked up a distributor yet, but will be premiering at the Toronto Film Festival next month and is expected to hit theaters in 2009.