I’ve had a couple weeks to get used to the idea of Zac Efron starring in a Richard Linklater film, particularly one about Orson Welles, but it still doesn’t quite register. Not that I’m knocking Efron — my exposure to his work is limited to the trailer for Hairspray and those seemingly ubiquitous ads that ran for the High School Musical DVD, and I would be ecstatic to discover we have a great new young actor. Something about it just feels a little off, though.
On the other hand, I do understand why Linklater would put Efron in Me and Orson Welles, in which Efron will play a young man who meets Welles one day in front of his theater and receives a small part in Welles’ production of Julius Caesar. Linklater needs a hit, and Efron might deliver. That’s enough recapping of old news; I’ve got new news to report!
Efron and the guy who is to play Welles (Christian McKay) will be joined by the eclectic foursome of Claire Danes, Eddie Marsan, Leo Bill and Imogen Poots; the announcement did not say what roles they’d be taking. Thankfully, I’ve got nothing negative to say about anyone in this group, but that’s not for lack of trying; I’ve seen Bill only in a handful of small roles (I’ve liked what I’ve seen), and I’ve only seen Poots in 28 Weeks Later (also liked).
I would certainly call myself a fan of both Marsan (Vera Drake, 21 Grams, The New World) and Danes (Stardust, Shopgirl, T3, Igby Goes Down), however. You might not recognize Marsan’s name, but if you’re the kind of person who visits this place regularly (meaning you watch a lot of movies), you probably know his face, as he’s an excellent character actor and a pretty distinctive-looking fellow.
And Danes is both very attractive and talented, though she tends to only excel when in the right hands. I think Linklater has pretty good hands, so I have confidence in her for this one.