The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman
Per Variety, Zac is out and Shia LaBeouf is back in as the title character. IDK when exactly Zac dropped the project. It was taken off his BL/SS pretty recently but it disappeared from his IMDB awhile ago, I think in August. That was around the time that there were rumors of Owen Wilson being attached in another role.
It sounds like a timing thing since they want to move on the project now and Zac is busy with promo and other things. Also I think we always felt that there was a lot of similarity between this story and Die in a Gunfight and one would have to be tabled eventually so that may have been part of this also. I liked Charlie Countryman better but Die in a Gunfight went through a rewrite so hopefully that fixed some of the problems and it is now the better choice.
Untitled Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy
This is a tiny thing. It looks like this recently was named, at least for now, Townies. No further info was updated.
The Ever After Part
As a refresher, this is what we knew before about this project which is in development at NRW.
The updates to this are that in late November a draft of the script was completed and in early December was being shopped around. No word on whether it ever sold though. Which is a good thing and a bad thing. Bad in that it is always nice to sell a project but good in the sense that I don't think the script was ready. I read it and I think it needs work. I won't give a full review, there's no point right now (and sorry I cannot share it per the terms of the site where I got it). But first things first this isn't a dark action rom-com so idk whether that twitter from the first post was something else or what (though the timing really suggested it was related to this but who knows).
Anyway the story is basically that Adam (presumably Zac would play this part), a 20s-something charming, hopeless romantic slacker meets Rachel, a 30s-something stunning Cali yoga type on a flight somewhere and sometime, they have a fling. (Yay another cougar story, lol.) She is going to be married soon but doesn't love her fiance, Ben, and she tells this to Adam. The day of the wedding, Adam crashes the ceremony, professing his undying love for Rachel. He gets decked in the face by a groomsman but his pleas work and he gets the girl.
After saving herself from making a horrible mistake with Ben, Rachel has to make it work with Adam and that, the ever after part, is the bulk of the movie. As one might expect, it isn't easy at all. She's older than him, in a different place in life, she's more settled with a good job, in line for a promotion, a nice place to live. He doesn't have a job, no real money, lives with roommates who play Xbox and watch Cupcake Wars. Basically, her problem was she was uncertain in her relationship, his problem is he's uncertain in everything -- she knows mostly who she is and he doesn't at all know who he is. They love each other undoubtedly and they both want to fit into each other's lives but can that work realistically?
Overall I liked the idea, I think they could get this to a good story maybe. It is always interesting dissecting how to make a relationship work. Add on top of that the story of where these two people are in life, especially Adam who is a little bit lost… I think there is potential. And I liked and cared about Adam and Rachel and thought and/or hoped maybe they could make it work.
But that alone isn't quite strong enough all the same to make up for the weaknesses in execution and set up. The problem is there isn't enough of a set up at the outset as to why she'd stick with Adam. I can buy her doubting her relationship with Ben enough to jump at the chance to runaway from the wedding when an opportunity presents itself. But I don't know that I buy, at first anyway, that she'd really stick it out with Adam based on this one fling they had. They don't establish that well enough at all.
What makes it feel even weirder is that in the second half, I buy her relationship with Adam just fine. They're both cute and they genuinely like each other. Like even though there are age-difference issues, it isn't like Rachel is just a cougar wanting to be young again, she's actually connected to Adam and not to the dream of being 20-something again. This is good because otherwise this would be an absolutely dreadful movie.
Anyway, overall, there are too many holes and a tonal imbalance/disconnect which makes it feel like a little too much of a reach to be plausible. The characterizations (Adam's in particular) and dialogue are just not quite there and the stakes are not high enough. Some work and a really charismatic and perfectly-cast Rachel to counter Zac's Adam, would add to its potential.
ETA: I meant to say of all the spec scripts etc that I have read that have a tone or topic like this, the one I like best is Your Bridesmaid is a Bitch. It's a script that also needed some polishing but was closer to being great than this. The dialogue is funnier, the plot more tied up, the characters better developed, etc. I love the main character and if Zac was to do a veering-towards-indie rom-com, this would be the one I'd choose not The Ever After Part (at least based on what I've seen so far).
I briefly mentioned when those pics of him at a meeting came out that I thought I might have an idea of what it was about. TBH, I thought it might be this project given it had gone out at the beginning of the December but we still haven't heard anything about its status so idk. The people photographed are a part of his company and so it was about something they are working on but I don't know what.