Efron Smuggles Cocaine and Davis and Stone Look for ‘Help’

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Zac Efron Preps to Play Coke Smuggling Money Launderer: Zac Efron is still best known for playing the lead in the High School Musical movies, but after dropping out of the Footloose remake last year and now looking to play a runner for a coke dealer things may be changing. Efron is set to co-produce a remake of Snabba cash (trailer to the right), a Swedish film directed by Daniel Espinosa, which itself is an adaptation of Jens Lapidus’s novel. Warner Bros. is set to distribute the thriller which follows three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young man (Efron) who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer. The title translates to “easy money”.

The Swedish flick apparently started a major bidding war with the rights ultimately landing at Warner Bros., which has a progress-to-production, or “short fuse” clause, which is to say if Warners sits on it for too long, the rights revert to the producers. Expect to see more about this one shortly. [THR]

McDormand Puts Penn in His Place: Frances McDormand is set to star in This Must be the Place opposite Sean Penn for Il Divo director Paolo Sorrentino, marking the Italian filmmaker’s first English-language feature. The film finds Penn playing a wealthy rock star who becomes bored in his retirement and takes on the quest of finding his father’s executioner, an ex-Nazi war criminal who is a refugee in the U.S. Filming is expected to begin in August. [Production Weekly]

Davis and Stone Look for Help: The Help, a big screen adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel for DreamWorks is looking in the direction of Viola Davis and Emma Stone for lead roles with Tate Taylor directing from his own adaptation. The story is set in Jackson, Miss. in the early 1960s, and explores how the unspoken code of behavior governing Southern households is shattered when an aspiring writer (Stone) interviews Aibileen (Davis), a maid who speaks candidly about her experiences. The interview sets off shock waves that reverberate across the entire community. Davis would play the role of Aibileen, the maid. Emma Stone is eyeing the part of the writer. [Variety]

Elkins Moves the Haunting to Georgia: A Haunting in Connecticut wasn’t too bad, but still inspired only a “C” from me in my review a little over a year ago. News of a sequel titled A Haunting in Georgia isn’t exactly new as it was reported last June David Coggeshall was writing the script and the new film is expected to take a similar path to that of the original telling the “true” story of a young family imperiled by mysterious entities inhabiting their property. The difference being, this time around instead of in Connecticut it takes place in… yup, Georgia. Tom Elkins, the editor of the first film, is now attached to direct the sequel with expectation to begin filming by August. The first film generated $55 million at the box-office.[Heat Vision]