For girls of a certain age, the very notion of Zac Efron is enough to send them into peals of ecstasy. Personally, I just don't get it. The Hollywood Reporter announced that Efron (star of High School Musical), has signed to star in the big-screen version of Robert Kaplow's coming-of-age novel, Me and Orson Welles. Efron will play Richard, a 17 year old boy "who, while strolling the streets of New York, happens upon the yet-to-open Mercury Theatre and is noticed by its mercurial founder, Orson Welles. The man lands a bit part in Julius Caesar, the production that catapulted Welles to the top, and spends the next week learning about life and love." Joining Efron in the cast is Christian McKay as Welles and Ben Chaplin as the famed British stage actor George Coulouris.

Richard Linklater is signed to direct from a Vince and Holly Gent Palmo script. The Palmos are long-time collaborators with Linklater; Holly started as a production coordinator on Dazed and Confused, and Vince has worked with Linklater on most of his films. Now that the filmmaker is involved, it could raise Efron's profile as an actor to something a little more challenging than High School Musical3? 4? How many of those movies are there anyway? Not to mention, regardless of what you may have thought of The Newton Boys, it seems like Linklater would be able to handle another period piece (this one is set in 1937). The story is considered half romance and half history of the Golden Age of Broadway, and could definitely be Efron's shot at being taken a little more seriously as an actor -- as opposed to just a cover boy for "Non-Threatening Boys Magazine." Efron is currently shooting the teen comedy Seventeen, but then he will be off to start work on Welles in mid-February and March.
categories Movies, Cinematical