Zac Efron wants to be fancy free, but apparently not footloose.
The teen-throb star of Disney’s first three “High School Musical” films, has pulled out of Paramount’s planned remake of “Footloose,” in an apparent effort to stretch his career beyond fame as just a cute song-and-dance man.
Efron told the studio last week that he did not want to do another musical at this point in his career, according to a senior member of the production team.
The team member told TheWrap that Efron had script approval on the movie and used a rewrite on the screenplay as the loophole to get out of his contract: “People had been working on this project since last July -- we were all shocked.”
A Paramount spokesman could not immediately be reached for confirmation.
Despite occasional serious roles in film and television series such as “NCIS” and “CSI: Miami,” Efron has earned superstar status by singing and dancing as Troy Bolton in the HSM series, the first two for television, the third a wide-release feature. He also played a singing, dancing teen in the 2007 musical “Hairspray,’’ a remake of the 1988 John Waters’ film, which became a Broadway musical.
And earlier this month, along with his “HSM” co-star and occasional girl friend, Vanessa Hudgens, he joined Hugh Jackson in a song and dance number during the Academy Award presentations.
Seems enough of that is enough for the young actor.
Efron’s effort to play a more serious role was slated to get a big boost last year with the release of “Me and Orson Welles,” a drama with Claire Danes, directed by Richard Linklater, in which he plays Broadway actor who has a chance meeting with Welles in 1937. The film, scheduled for 2008, has not yet been released.
The new “Footloose,” a remake of the 1984 Kevin Bacon starrer, was to be directed by Kenny Ortega, who directed all three “High School Musicals” and was slated to begin shooting this spring in Atlanta, with a targeted release date in 2010. The budget was well over $20 million.
While Disney is planning a “High School Musical 4,” Efron is not expected to be a part of it.
1) One is this really true? The article says filming was to happen in Atlanta, which is totally different than the two other more plausible locations we've heard more substantial rumors of (Lehi, Utah or Toronto). Hopefully Zefron will comment while on his 17 Again press tour.
2) Creative issues seem to be plaguing the script, so this project might be better off, at the very least, being postponed. They've been trying to make a script work for a long time and Zac has stated he doesn't want to rush into it just to get it out and make a buck. This seems contrary to the studio's plans as they've already set up release dates.
3) I don't blame Zac for wanting not to do another musical at this point. But if they can't come to a consensus on a script then it is unfairly tying up his schedule, no matter how much he may want to stick with it. This isn't just Paramount he had a commitment to but to his friend Kenny Ortega as well.