High School Musical star Zac Efron is reportedly the top choice to play the co-lead alongside It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia funnyman Charlie Day in El Tonto. Day will make his directorial debut on El Tonto, in addition to writing the script.
A teen heartthrob thanks to his work in the Disney Channel’s High School Musical movies, Efron has worked hard in recent years to establish himself as a bankable movie star. To that end, Efron has taken on the role of notorious serial killer Ted Bundy in the drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Efron also helped his grown-up credibility by starring alongside Seth Rogen in the R-rated comedy Neighbors and its sequel Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. The actor of course returned to his musical roots with a role alongside Hugh Jackman in last year’s hit film The Greatest Showman.
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After playing Ted Bundy, Efron appears ready to veer back into the world of comedy. As reported by THS, the actor is the top choice to star alongside Charlie Day in the sure-to-be-wacky El Tonto. Efron is being sought for the role of Chad Lutz, described as a “cool guy that ends up having multiple confrontations with Charlie Day’s character.” The story revolves around Day as a deaf-mute who becomes a celebrity only to lose everything.
After years playing the rat-murdering loser Charlie Kelly on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Day looks ready to move onto the next phase of his career, becoming an auteur. Knowing Day’s particularly manic comedic sensibility, El Tonto is sure to be an over-the-top, wild type of movie. Day's potential co-star Efron has already demonstrated his own comedic chops in films like Neighbors, the Dwayne Johnson-led flop Baywatch and the Robert De Niro-starring comedy Dirty Grandpa. Of course, acting opposite Day is a whole different kind of comedic acting, and it’s likely Efron would be called upon to play more of a straight-man role alongside the ever-crazed Always Sunny star.
In addition to his intriguing role as Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, Efron has also lined up a role in provocative indie filmmaker Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum, a comedy starring Matthew McConaughey as a rebellious stoner named Moondog. Jonah Hill, Snoop Dog, Isla Fisher and Martin Lawrence will also appear in Korine’s film. After going back-to-back in a serial killer movie and a Harmony Korine film, Efron may look upon playing Charlie Day’s foil as more-or-less of a vacation.
El Tonto is expected to begin shooting next month, and no release date has yet been announced.