Zac Efron Joins Spy Thriller & Back to the Future-Esque Film
by Ethan Anderton
January 27, 2010
I'm sure the latter portion of that headline might have been worrisome, but don't fret, because fortunately there isn't a Back to the Future remake or anything like that in the works (at least that we know of). But the sci-fi classic is apparently a point of reference for a project that Deadline Hollywood reports Zac Efron is looking to join in addition to the spy thriller Fire, an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis' graphic novel of the same name with a story in the the vein of Robert Ludlum's action novels (think Bourne). The former project is a bit of a confusing endeavor that sets out to combine two separate projects into one movie.
Efron's foray into the action genre is a brave, bold and smart choice for the actor to continue separating himself from the Disney-teen image that started his career. If he wants to stick around and be one of the few actors who can make the jump from teenage fare to adult roles, then this is the right move. In Fire, Efron will play a college student who is recruited by the CIA, only to find that he has been trained for a program that creates expendable agents. He will also serve as executive producer and was partially responsible for getting the pitch picked up just last week. This news alone gives Efron some newfound respect in my book.
On this other intriguing Back to the Future-esque project, Efron has made a deal with Warner Bros. to star and executive produce this other new project that combines a pitch from writers Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski (the duo responsible for the amazing Assassination of a High School President), and another WB project called Algorithm that the studio was already developing as a directing vehicle for Nick Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Details on either project are sparse, and it's not entirely clear of Nick Stoller is still part of this deal or not, but the potential of this assembly of talent has me more than intrigued so far.
No matter how ridiculous the High School Musical franchise may seem, I have to give kudos to Zac Efron for really trying to grow up as an actor. Me and Orson Welles was a big first step in the right direction, and although it wasn't a box office success, the movie at least let him show his stuff. Now he's starting to get into the more mature projects that mainstream audiences may actually be interested in seeing, and soon enough we'll have a good idea as to whether or not Efron will be sticking around for the next couple of decades or so. I say we give the kid a shot. I think he's on his way to becoming an actor we will be excited to see in movies.