By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist February 11, 2011 at 8:12AM
Exclusive: Founding his own production company (the cheekily titled Ninjas Runnin' Wild), and being courted for a number of intriguing projects over the past year (including the remake of "Snabba Cash"), Zac Efron is set to turn heads in a role that will showcase the actor as we've never quite seen him before.
Producer Albert Berger has confirmed with The Playlist that Efron is attached to star in the lead role in the action comedy "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman," a role that was once inhabited by Shia LaBeouf last year. The film, said to be in the spirit of "Pulp Fiction," follows Charlie who after the death of his mother, heads to Europe to find himself. There, he meets a girl and falls in love. The trouble is she already belongs to an insanely violent crime boss with a gang of thugs at his disposal, but that won't deter Charlie who endures one bruising beat down after another to woo the girl and keep her out of harm’s way.
The film has been penned by Matt Drake, a scribe on the rise, who not only found his 'Countryman' script get approval from the folks who put together the Black List in 2007, but he's also written the forthcoming, low budget R-rated comedy "Project X" produced by Todd Phillips and Joel Silver. While Dante Ariola was once attached to direct, this is no longer the case. 'Countryman' is currently out to directors, and the hope is to get the film in front of cameras this year.
Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa of Bona Fide are producing, and the film is set up at Mandate Pictures with Nathan Kahane executive producing. Dean Parisot and William Horberg will also be producing.