The L.A. Times’ Hero Complex blog has revealed this evening that Zac Efron, star of such tween hits as High School Musical and High School Musical 3 has been confirmed for the lead role in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Jonny Quest. Apparently Efron has been looking for a solid action property that may lead him out of the Disney Channel fair and into something a little more mature — a similar exodus to that of Shia LaBeouf or Justin Timberlake. To this point, Efron hasn’t proven himself beyond a little song and dance and his ability to cause the swooning of 12-year old girls. His next test will be in next week’s 17 Again, which appears to be a modern, albeit reversed version of the 1988 Tom Hanks film Big. Though I don’t quite see Efron dancing out chopsticks on a giant toy piano, so he’s going to need something else in the future.
Currently the film is in development over at Warner Bros., a studio that has been burned of late in the adaptation of classic children’s properties, most notably the giant financial skidmark that was the Wachowski Bros.’ Speed Racer. The rumor around Quest is that not only is the studio happily making the lead character — who was always 11-years old in the 1960s series — older, they are also thinking of changing the name of the film in order to keep people from associating it with Speed Racer. Word is that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is also circling the project, eying the role of pilot and all-around action dude Race Bannon. And no matter what you think of Efron, that is certainly awesome.
The project is still in development, with a script from Dan Mazeau, and the only question that remains is: who is going to play Hadji? Please place your votes in the comment area below.