Zac Efron may have started out making teenage girls everywhere swoon in the High School Musical franchise, but evidently the young actor is looking to bust out of that persona. Although still popular with his original fanbase (even if Twilight‘s Robert Pattinson seems to have stolen a lot of that spotlight :P ), Efron has done some more serious roles, notably Me & Orson Welles last year.

However, even if Efron is looking to broaden his acting horizons, this latest piece of news about him may be hard to believe at first: The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive on the news that Efron will star as a drug-runner in a remake of the hit 2010 Swedish crime thriller Snabba Cash (or Easy Money as it translates).

Here’s the synopsis:

“Snabba” is based on a novel by Jens Lapidus and was a major hit in its home country this year. The thriller follows three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young man (played in the original by Joel Kinnaman) who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer. Efron would play the runner in the WB version.

Snabba Cash was just released a few months ago in its native Sweden, so I haven’t had a chance to see it yet and thus can’t say whether or not a remake is a horrible idea or not. All I know is I love crime films and films in general that involve multiple stories intertwining.

Scene from original Swedish version of 'Snabba Cash'

The property was apparently the subject of a Hollywood bidding war, from which Warner Bros. emerged the victor. The studio bought the rights for Efron not only to star in but to produce, via a new WB shingle the actor runs with manager Jason Barrett. Many companies – including Universal, Summit Entertainment, Fox and Paramount – were vying for the remake rights after buzz began at the Berlin Film Festival.

The film will also be produced by Atlas Entertainment’s Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, along with producer of the original Snabba Cash, Fredrik Wikstrom. The deal has a “progress-to-production” or “short-fuse” clause attached, which means that if WB sits on the project for too long then the rights will revert back to the original owners. But I’m sure if WB went to so much trouble to acquire the rights, they’re treating this project as an important one.

Zac Efron - more than just a musical star?

As I said, Efron is pretty serious about getting himself out of the teen heartthrob persona that made him a household name. This role signals to everyone that Efron wants to be associated with more serious fare and will no longer be pigeonholed as just a pretty-faced musical star.

What do you think of Zac Efron starring as a drug runner in the remake of a Swedish crime film? Do you think he can be a serious actor, or will he forever be known as the star of High School Musical?

No word on when we might see the Easy Money remake in theaters. Stay tuned.

Source: THR