Bond 25 Production Suspended After Daniel Craig Suffers Injury

Production on the as-yet-untitled James Bond 25 has reached a standstill as lead actor Daniel Craig apparently has injured himself badly on set and needs time to recover.

Daniel Craig and the rest of the cast and crew for Bond 25 were in Jamaica filming scenes for the upcoming 007 thriller, due to reach theaters in 2020. According to The Sun, Craig slipped while running in his signature Bond suit, and he fell awkwardly, causing himself an enormous amount of pain. It’s believed that Craig injured his ankle while running, and the actor was flown to the States for X-rays to determine the extent of the damage.

According to the report, Daniel Craig was filming one of his last scenes in Jamaica, with filming set to resume in London’s Pinewood Studios afterward. For the time being, that schedule has been put on hold as the crew decides what to do next. The Sun notes that production bosses hope that Craig’s injury doesn’t cause a long delay.

Daniel Craig has been recognized as the more physical James Bond from the moment he joined the franchise in 2006’s Casino Royale, and he has endured his fair share of bumps, bruises and bodily harms as a result of playing 007. As is documented in The Sun, Craig lost two teeth after absorbing a blow to the face while filming his first-ever stunt scene as 007.

Since then, Craig also has suffered a muscle tear while filming Quantum of Solace (during which he also sliced off the tip of a finger), and sustained a serious knee injury while filming a fight scene for Spectre, which caused production to shut down for weeks.

Who is on set telling Daniel Craig to slow it down a tad? Maybe the studio needs to hire a coach who encourages Craig to give the stunt guy more work? Granted, without Craig in the role, we wouldn’t get memorable action set pieces like this:

But does Daniel Craig still feel like this physical pain is worth it? The 51-year-old actor hemmed and hawed about returning to 007 in the press, leading to rampant speculation that he’d be replaced by an alternate Bond. Even now though it hasn’t been officially stated by anyone, many seem to believe that Bond 25 will be Craig’s final turn in the tuxedo, and on-set injuries probably help convince him to hang it up.

Cary Fukunaga directs Bond 25, with a story we know very little about. The cast was in Jamaica to announce the start of production, knowing that the location has a lot of personal and professional connections to author Ian Fleming and the Bond movie series, as a whole.

Avengers: Endgame’s Don Cheadle Explains Why Rhodes Was So Good At Piloting War Machine

Avengers: Endgame has been in theaters for three weekends, but the blockbuster is still on everyone’s lips. The Russo Brothers crammed a ton of exciting twist and characters into the massive blockbuster, essentially ending the narrative that began with Iron Man. Given the state of the MCU and it’s unknown future, there’s been some reflection on the past 22 movies and decade of filmmaking.

James Rhodes is a character that debuted back in Iron Man, although he was originally played by Terrence Howard. Don Cheadle ended up taking on the role starting with Iron Man 2, which saw Rhodey become the superheroic War Machine. One Twitter user recently asked Cheadle why his character picked up piloting armor so much easier than Tony Stark, and he said:

Tony Stark may have been the first Marvel hero to armor up and save the day, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily came easy to him. Iron Man showed RDJ struggle with the suit’s abilities, especially when it came to flying. Meanwhile, Rhodey jumped in with relative ease.

Don Cheadle’s Tweet shows how methodically the 54 year-old actor has thought out his long tenure in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While fans seem eager to find plot holes or potential goofs in the shared universe, Cheadle knows exactly why his signature Avenger was able to adjust to wearing Tony’s suit so quickly. It all has to do with his piloting background, and Tony’s programming in making each suit intuitive to its user.

War Machine is one of the first heroes to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and has remained relevant presence in the MCU since taking on the mantle. In addition to his appearances in Iron Man 3 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, Rhodey had a particularly very strong outing in Phase Three.

He was an influential voice in the drafting of the Sakovia Accords in Captain America: Civil War, taking Tony Stark’s side and urging the other Avengers to follow suit. He eventually participated in the tarmac battle, and sustained a major injury in the process. He now bares the physical scars from that scuffle, in addition to feelings of guilt.

War Machine provided both comedy and action in Avengers: Infinity War, helping to defend Wakanda from Thanos’ forces in the film’s third act. While unable to stop the Mad Titan himself, Rhodey got lucky and managed to survive Thanos’ finger snap of death. He’s go a meaty role in Endgame as a result, as the spotlight focuses on the survivors and their shared grief.

It should be interesting to see what comes next for War Machine. The future of the MCU is largely a mystery– at least until Spider-Man: Far From Home arrives and completes Phase Three. But considering which characters perished in Endgame, it might be a time for Rhodey to have an even bigger presence in the shared universe.

Avengers: Endgame is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Liam Neeson Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Making Action Movies

There was a time when the name Liam Neeson was synonymous with high caliber dramatic films and period pieces, movies like Schindler’s List, Michael Collins, and Rob Roy. However, these days Neeson spends much more time making “one man versus an army” action movies. His most recent in the genre was 2018’s The Commuter, and now he’s heading back in to make yet another with a new film called The Minuteman.

The new movie will see Liam Neeson as a retired Vietnam veteran who finds himself protecting a young boy that’s being hunted by a cartel. The project will be directed by Robert Lorenz, a longtime producing partner of Clint Eastwood, who previously directed Eastwood’s Trouble with the Curve.

Liam Neeson starred in Taken back in 2008 and the movie was such a huge hit that it not only spawned a pair of sequels, but also an entire new genre for Neeson to get involved in. While none of Neeson’s action films have been able to quite replicate the success of the original taken, the films’ modest budgets tend to mean that they do well enough at the box office even that if they don’t break the bank, they are still considered successful.

Liam Neeson is 66 years old and as such he wouldn’t necessarily be your first thought when it comes to major action heroes, but it really can’t be argued that he”s able to make it work. He’s somehow believable even at that age, something not everybody can pull off.

Even Neeson himself has said that eventually he feels like audiences will stop buying him in the role of action star at some point, but he seems to enjoy making the movies and that means he’ll continue to make them until he stops getting the roles.

It should also be said that at least part of the reason Liam Neeson seems to be getting so many of these roles is that he has more success with them than others. Other aging actors from Mel Gibson to Sean Penn have tried their hands at the older action hero genre, but none have done as well with it as Neeson.

Details on The Minuteman are light from THR, but it seems certain that Liam Neeson will be beating the hell out of cartel members for most of the runtime. The lack of detail means it’s impossible to tell if there’s much to set this story apart or if it will be just another film like Non-Stop or A Walk Among the Tombstones, that have already been largely forgotten among the litany of action films Neeson has made in recent years.

Still, if you’re a fan of action star Liam Neeson, the fact that another project is on the way is good news however you look at it.

Angelina Jolie Gets Threatening In First Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil Trailer

Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent was a massive hit when it hit theaters back in the summer of 2014, ultimately making over $750 million at the global box office – but it took a minute for a sequel to get the green light. While Disney continued to mine their expansive animated library for new live-action material, the idea of a sequel to the villain-centric fairy tale stayed on the back burner. Five years later, however, the studio is now finally getting ready to unleash Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil on the world, and today we got our very first look at the new blockbuster. Check it out!

How Detective Pikachu May Set The Stage For Major Pokemon Character Ash Ketchum

Ash Ketchum and Pikachu in Pokemon: The First Movie

Warning! The following contains spoilers for Detective Pikachu. Read at your own risk!

Detective Pikachu is a great movie, and a wonderful nostalgia trip for those who were a part of Pokemon’s original run 20-plus years ago – but there are bits of the film where older fans may have been a bit out of the loop. Those only familiar with the franchise up to the 151st Pokemon may have missed some of the deep cut references to successive games, not to mention been unfamiliar with some of the new species that are prominently featured. It still makes for a fun time at the cineplex, but imagine if there was a movie that focused on the Pokemon of the late 1990s.

Not to get anyone’s hopes too high, but there’s a possibility something like that could happen now that the new film is a hit. You may have missed it, but Detective Pikachu has a very subtle reference to past stories that very well could tie the movie into the anime world of Pokemon and the franchise’s most famous human character. To spell it all out, below you’ll find the details behind the reference that some may have missed, and an exploration into how it may set the stage for a popular figure who didn’t appear in the film: Ash Ketchum.

Mewtwo Detective Pikachu

Detective Pikachu’s Reference To The Pokemon Anime And Pokemon: The First Movie

Detective Pikachu does a lot to establish Rhyme City as a part of the greater Pokemon universe, and surprisingly added a bit that may tie in the movie with the actual canon of the Pokemon anime and Pokemon: The First Movie. The moment comes when Tim, Pikachu, Lucy, and Psyduck explore Clifford Industries’ lab, and learn more about the mysterious origins of the Pokemon, Mewtwo.

In a bit of dialogue, it’s revealed that Clifford Industries managed to catch Mewtwo after it escaped the Kanto region 20 years ago. In the Pokemon anime, Mewtwo was in the possession of Viridian City Gym Leader and leader of the Team Rocket syndicate Giovanni, who operates in the Kanto region. Giovanni used Mewtwo (who was subdued with electronics) to defeat Ash’s rival Gary in a gym battle. Mewtwo escaped shortly after that, which became the basis for Pokemon: The First Movie.

What makes this reference all the more interesting is the revelation that it happened 20 years ago, which is essentially how long it’s been since Pokemon: The First Movie was released in theaters. It could be a coincidence, but there’s something really intentional about that time frame that seems to show Detective Pikachu is wanting to align itself with the show’s original canon.

Detective Pikachu

Why Didn’t Detective Pikachu Reference Ash Ketchum Then?

If researchers knew of Mewtwo’s escape, then why didn’t they know about Ash, Misty, Brock, or Team Rocket? Better yet, considering Tim believed he was going up against one of the strongest Pokemon in existence, why didn’t he ring up one of the world’s most prolific Pokemon trainers for some advice on how to bring him down?

There’s actually a rather simple explanation for this: Ash Ketchum and his friends don’t remember their encounter with Mewtwo. The powerful psychic Pokemon ended up wiping everyone’s memory following the climax of Pokemon: The First Movie, and the characters resumed their lives as though nothing had ever happened. So, if Ash saw the news about Mewtwo in Rhyme City, he was probably just as shocked and as oblivious as anyone else who may have seen it.

While Mewtwo doesn’t make any reference to Ash in Detective Pikachu, there are parts that imply he lived through the events of Pokemon: The First Movie. For example, he seemed far less ruthless and more forgiving of human kind in Detective Pikachu, whereas the version featured pre-Pokemon: The First Movie would’ve turned all the humans he encountered to stone really quickly. Fortunately, he only had to turn Ash to stone that one time to figure out it was a terrible idea he should never replicate.

Ash Ketchum Pokemon

Where Is Ash Ketchum In The Detective Pikachu World?

Ash was a little older than 10 when he faced off against Mewtwo, which would make him around 30 years old when the events of Detective Pikachu go down. Like most cartoon characters, Ash is basically ageless in the Pokemon anime, but while that would be an absolutely riveting plot point to tackle in a Detective Pikachu sequel, it feels more likely he would show up as an seasoned Pokemon Trainer played by an adult actor.

Ash travels around a lot, and he’s gotten into some crazy situations. If Tim managed to run into Ash in the midst of some big mystery it wouldn’t be the least bit surprising, and the two might even join forces. Of course, the question is, is there really a need for Detective Pikachu 2?

It would appear that Tim’s issues are largely resolved with his father back in his life. Tim could still have some adventures with his dad and a non-speaking Pikachu sidekick, but that doesn’t sound nearly as cool as the general premise. Ash Ketchum would certainly sweeten the deal, but maybe not enough that audiences would sign on for another Detective Pikachu where Ryan Reynolds isn’t the voice of the yellow mouse.

Pokemon: The First Movie Mew Mewtwo

Will Detective Pikachu Lead To A 90s Pokemon Film?

Detective Pikachu‘s mention of Mewtwo’s origins could be the link needed for the franchise to take a trip back in time, making a movie that could potentially use Ash Ketchum as a way of telling the origin story of Mewtwo once again. Yes, it would essentially be a live-action remake of Pokemon: The First Movie, but could be completely different than the film with which American audiences are familiar.

For those that aren’t aware, the story differences between the Japanese and American versions of that Pokemon movie are substantial. In fact, it’s fair to say they’re basically entirely separate movies, as the American version of Pokemon: The Movie was heavily edited and had its script changed to cater to American audiences. Had they stuck with the original, Americans could’ve had a deeply nuanced story about Mewtwo, his existential crisis, and a movie that honestly made the diminutive Mew seem like the true villain.

It’s a story far better than what the American version of Pokemon: The First Movie delivered, which essentially stated that fighting is wrong in a franchise where the world’s entire economy revolves around fighting. Now, Detective Pikachu has presented an opportunity to tell that story right if it wants to, and the company could retcon a very bad Pokemon feature and give America its first live-action Ash Ketchum in the process. Sounds like a win-win to me!

Should Ash Ketchum appear in the next Pokemon movie? Is remaking Pokemon: The First Movie a good idea? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to stick with CinemaBlend for all updates regarding movies, television, and pop culture.

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Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Is Getting A Reboot

Honey I Shrunk The Kids Wayne and Diane Szalinski answer the door stressed out

Regardless of where you ultimately land in the whole nature vs. nurture debate, it’s pretty hard to argue that a lot of us grow up to be very similar to at least one of our parents. In some cases, this is a sweet tribute to our folks, but in the case of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, it’s a bit of a problem.

We say this because Disney is apparently rebooting the classic 1989 sci-fi comedy, and in doing so it’s taking the “legacyquel” route. In this case, that means we will get to see an adult Nick Szalinski start to make the same kind of ridiculous scientific mistakes that his father did when he was a kid. According to Slash Film, the project will be titled Shrunk, and feature Josh Gad in the lead role. With a star attached and a theatrical release strategy in mind, the studio is apparently now looking for a director that doubles as a fan of the original franchise to move the feature from concept into reality.

This new film isn’t to be confused with the previously rumored remake of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids that’s been mentioned on and off for almost a decade. Instead, this is a new project that will see Nick start doing his own experiments with shrinking technology that winds up miniaturizing his own family.

What’s interesting is that Shrunk is supposed to take place within the canon of the original Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, leaving us to wonder just how much sequel continuity it’ll fold into its own story. The rest of the franchise’s feature film legacy includes Honey, I Blew Up The Kid and Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves, but only the first of those two titles actually made its way in to theaters. The second was made during Disney’s bygone era of direct-to-video sequels.

Following the example of the Jurassic World movies, the filmmakers behind Shrunk could leave that question vaguely answered with character appearances and references to events that took place in those follow-ups, while specifically leaning hard on the nostalgia for the first film. One can expect that the calls will ultimately depend on the sensibilities of the writers and director involved, so we’ll just have to wait and see what kind of moves the project makes in those arenas.

One last question that’ll undoubtedly start cropping up as Shrunk pushes through development is whether or not Wayne Szalinski, Nick’s father and the original genius of the Honey, I Shrunk The Kids mythos, will make an appearance. Played by Rick Moranis in all three of the films that were made in the series, there’s a chance that Disney is already trying to make an offer that will entice him to play one of his most iconic roles yet again.

Unfortunately, that may not be an easy sell, as we previously saw with Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot. Rick Moranis turned down the offer to return for a cameo in that movie, having been retired from the movie world since starring in Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves. That being said, he’s semi-returning to the industry by appearing in an upcoming documentary about SCTV, so perhaps that will loosen his resolve a little. Should he still reject a return to the world of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, though, there’s another option that could be taken by Shrunk that would make things very interesting.

When Honey, I Shrunk The Kids became a syndicated TV series in the late ‘90s, veteran character actor Peter Scolari was cast to play the small screen version of Wayne for that show’s duration. So if they really wanted to, Shrunk could draft Scolari to keep the character alive in the franchise.

Not much else is known about Shrunk right now, but with Josh Gad on board to lead the “legacyquel,” it’s already a promising start to what could be an interesting extension and resurrection of a family comedy hit that’s been sorely missed in the world. And as this project develops, we’ll report back to you here at CinemaBlend to continue the story.

Meanwhile, Josh Gad can next be seen, or rather heard, in A Dog’s Journey, which hits theaters this weekend; as well as in the highly anticipated Frozen 2, which is set to be released on November 22nd.

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Captain America: Civil War Almost Focused A Lot More On Bucky

One of the biggest blockbusters of 2016, Captain America: Civil War took inspiration from Mark Millar’s 2006-2007 Marvel Comics crossover series that gave it its title, telling the story of a superhero community torn apart by philosophical differences. But it wasn’t always so. There was once an alternate version of the MCU’s third Captain America movie that originally 3 focused much more on Bucky Barnes and his journey coming out of the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Screenwriter Christopher Markus recently explained,

Sebastian Stan’s Winter Soldier certainly plays a significant part in Captain America: Civil War, but according to a recent Hollywood Reporter interview with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely he originally had an even bigger role in the narrative. Because Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark wasn’t always a guaranteed part of the film, there was initially no conflict between him and Steve Rogers to set up, so in the absence of that storyline Bucky took center stage.

According to Markus, the plotline that existed in older outlines with Bucky still had Daniel Brühl’s Zemo has a key player, so it doesn’t sound like his story was drastically different in the development of Captain America 3. That being said, there probably were some key alterations made, such as the significance of the brainwashed super soldier killing Tony Stark’s parents.

Ultimately the option of creating a big screen version of Civil War came along. The writers were able to work that iconic comics storyline in and make everything in the established Marvel Cinematic Universe fit and function as a cohesive story. Being able to do Civil War also apparently proved fortuitous for the writers, because apparently the Bucky and Zemo material wasn’t strong enough to carry the film, as screenwriter Stephen McFeely explained:

According to Stephen McFeely, having the focus of the film be Bucky Barnes and the story of Zemo controlling him wasn’t all that great. By shifting that story from the main focus to the B-plot was much more effective. It actually complemented the story of the conflict between Steve Rogers and Tony Stark too, by having their disagreement about the Sokovia Accords give way to a more personal dispute over what Bucky’s fate should be.

It’s hard to disagree with Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely given how well Captain America: Civil War turned out. It now stands as one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most beloved films, and one of the most important given how the ramifications of it reverberate throughout many of the movies that followed it. The conflict between Tony and Steve ultimately carries throughout the rest of the Phase 3 films all the way until Avengers: Endgame, proving to make Zemo one of the franchise’s most successful villains.

For those who might lament not getting even more of Sebastian Stan’s Bucky Barnes in Captain America: Civil War, fear not. Bucky will star alongside Anthony Mackie’s Falcon in a new series coming to Disney+, one of many MCU series on the way.

Check out our 2019 Release Schedule to keep track of all the biggest movies headed your way this summer and for the latest superhero movie news, stay tuned to CinemaBlend.

Peter Jackson Turned Down Directing Aquaman More Than Once

When it was originally announced that James Wan was going to direct the first ever Aquaman movie, it actually made quite a bit of sense. The filmmaker not only had some tremendous success with the making and release of Furious 7 (his debut in the blockbuster realm), but also had established a great working relationship with Warner Bros. (specifically by launching The Conjuring Universe). That in mind, it may surprise you to learn that he apparently wasn’t the studio’s first choice for the gig, as Peter Jackson was originally pitched on the project… not once, but twice.

This revelation comes from the latest issue of Empire, though exactly how the subject came up in conversation with the filmmaker isn’t entirely clear. The director apparently was pitched on the underwater superhero adventure by Former Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara – with whom he worked on theHobbit trilogy – and an attempt was apparently made twice because the executive seemingly forgot Peter Jackson’s response the first time he was asked. Said the director,

One can understand why Kevin Tsujihara was interested in having Peter Jackson make the Aquaman movie, given the fact that the filmmaker both has a lot of experience with giant blockbusters, and because he has a lot of ambition when it comes to the realm of visual and special effects – both of which were definitely needed in the making of the DC Extended Universe title. But apparently it just wasn’t a job that appealed to Jackson, to the point where he shut down the opportunity twice.

So why did he turn down the gig? Apparently stories about costumed vigilantes just aren’t really his thing – though he obviously doesn’t have anything against the comic medium at large. After all, he had a major hand in developing Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn as a producer. That, however, was very much a passion project for the New Zealand-born writer/director, and he simply didn’t connect with the material that inspired Aquaman in the same way. He explained,

As a result, things turned out quite well for James Wan, who did connect with the adventures of Arthur Curry and made a movie that reflects that. Aquaman not only ultimately got a warm reception from critics, but now stands as the highest grossing DC Comics adaptation of all time – making more than a billion dollars at the global box office.

So if he’s not making superhero movies, what is Peter Jackson doing these days? Right now we can’t say with any certainty what his next narrative feature will be, but a lot of his focus and attention as of late has been in the documentary realm. Last year we saw the release of They Shall Not Grow Old, which showcases immaculately restored footage from World War I, and right now he is working on a documentary about one of the greatest and most beloved bands in rock and roll history: The Beatles.

New Men In Black International Clip Pokes Fun At Game Of Thrones’ Coffee Cup Debacle

The summer season, so far, has been all about the Avengers, but there are plenty more franchise looking to make a splash as the temperatures rise outside. Spider-Man will swing through his own sequel. The Toys are back in town for Toy Story 4, and Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) will absorb the power of the Phoenix in Simon Kinberg’s Dark Phoenix.

And then there are the Men In Black, who will add a fresh-faced new female recruit to their ranks when Tessa Thompson teams with Chris Hemsworth for Men In Black International. The promotional campaign is stepping up, as of late, including this clever and very timely use of the neuralyzer, which Game of Thrones fans probably want to use on its millions of viewers:

And no, this isn’t a dig at Dany laying waste to King’s Landing with her one remaining dragon (though seriously, a lot of Game of Thrones fans likely want their own neuralyzer to block out the bulk of season eight). This is a clever dig laid by Men In Black International about the coffee cup left on the Thrones set during a post-battle celebration. Happier times! Remember those?

With the help of a trusty neuralyzer, all one has to do is stare into the light, and the memory that you want gone is wiped. It was a funny bit every time Will Smith of Tommy Lee Jones did it in the original Men In Black films. We can’t wait to see how Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson use it in the new film.

When CinemaBlend visited the set of Men In Black International, we learned that the neuralyzer actually will play a bigger role in the story of this new team, with Chris Hemsworth’s character – Agent H – potentially suffering from a memory wipe after an early confrontation. Beyond that tease, details were kept under wraps, but we’ll know the full story once the movie comes out.

F. Gary Gray directs Men In Black International, recruiting Tessa Thompson out of the bureau’s New York office and then sending her to London where she’ll team with Chris Hemsworth and Liam Neeson on a globe-trotting adventure. The movie opens everywhere on June 14. For more from our visit to the London set of the movie, click here.

8 Zac Efron Movies That Prove He’s Bigger Than High School Musical

Zac Efron - Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile

Zac Efron has come a long way from East High School with his starring role in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile, on Netflix now. Looking back to 2006, Zac Efron was at the forefront of High School Musical, a corny-but-peppy-and-bubbly Disney Channel original movie that became a full pop culture phenomenon, the likes of which likely surprised even the folks at Disney. It was an overnight sensation — literally — once it aired on the Disney Channel that fateful evening. Since then, Zac Efron has been a household name, and has earned no shortage of adoring fans.

However, because of his success in this three-part film series, there are some folks out there who still associate Zac Efron’s acting with his work as Troy Bolton in High School Musical. Despite his best efforts to branch out and expand himself as an actor, there are some musical lovers out there who only see Zac Efron for the work he did in the past without recognizing his developing talents. That’s not really fair. In the past decade, Zac Efron has proven to be a versatile, charismatic performer, having varied himself well enough to be more than his work in the Disney Channel trilogy. He should be accredited as an accomplished, talented and dedicated actor.

Much like how we are not much like our high school selves once we get older, Zac Efron has grown up and matured in a strong, promising actor. He has developed an esteemed resume and shown himself to be an established actor in many different respects. So, let’s take a moment to showcase a number of the roles that prove that he’s bigger than his hit performances in High School Musical 1, 2, and 3.

Zac Efron - Me and Orson Welles

Me And Orson Welles

In 2008, shortly after he rose to celebrity through his appearances in High School Musical 1 & 2, Zac Efron worked alongside director Richard Linklater in the period piece biopic Me and Orson Welles, which followed a starry-eyed teenager who got a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the great Orson Welles in his 1937 production of Julius Caesar. It was certainly the work of a young performer, but it gave audiences outside of the High School Musical fanbase a chance to see an actor on the rise.

Plus, it showcased that had dramatic range and potential that wasn’t fully explored in those TV movie musicals. Sure enough, as the years went on, the actor would continue to prove himself in a variety of different performances.

Zac Efron - The Lorax

The Lorax

While Zac Efron rose to super-status through his vocal pipes, singing tunes for High School Musical, the actor reached a new career phase when he did his first voice-only performance in The Lorax, Illumination Entertainment’s 2012 feature-length adaptation of Dr. Seuss beloved children’s book. As the voice of Ted Wiggins, the child protagonist, Zac Efron uses his popularity with the younger crowds to draw viewers into this new take on the old environmental tale. While the film itself didn’t win over many critics, it provided Zac Efron with one of his first major box office smashes. During its 2012 release, The Lorax made over $348 million worldwide.

During its 2012 release, The Lorax made over $348 million worldwide. That’s not too bad for a first big animated outing.

Zac Efron - Neighbors (2014)

Neighbors

After a series of unremarkable performances in inert or underwhelming dramas, Zac Efron finally found his calling outside of High School Musical. And it was in the comedy department. In a role that allowed the rising actor to finally be free from the restraints of Disney’s child-friendly image, Zac Efron appeared alongside Seth Rogen in 2014’s surprise hit R-rated comedy Neighbors, allowing the actor to prove his comedic chops (while also not being afraid to take off his shirt a few times).

Though the comedies he appeared in afterwards didn’t acquire the same success (See: Baywatch and Bad Grandpa), Efron’s work in Neighbors proved that he was on his way up the ladder, creatively. Plus, could be really funny, to boot.

Zac Efron - The Disaster Artist

The Disaster Artist

As anyone who has seen The Room will note, the role of Chris-R is just as puzzling and bizarre as anything else in Tommy Wiseau’s elusive passion project. Yet, the actor who played the role, Dan Janjigian, gave a convincingly menacing and surprisingly compelling performance, channeling more believable and palpable emotion intensity in just one scene than anyone else did throughout the entirety of the movie. It is often considered the one good performance in a film that’s certainly less-than-great, and Zac Efron certainly had his work cut out for him.

In James Franco’s dramedy biopic, The Disaster Artist, Efron played Janjigian/Chris-R in a similar memorable sequence, and he reportedly went method in the same way his on-screen persona did. Once again, Zac Efron proved his talents are quite versatile.

Zac Efron- The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

Following 2008’s High School Musical 3, Zac Efron opted not to participate in any more movie musicals. The actor was focused more on comedic and dramatic roles, challenging himself as an actor and pushing himself more as a performer. It wasn’t until nine years later when he appeared in The Greatest Showman that he got a chance to sing and dance again.

Sure enough, while it was nearly a decade after his first movie musical, Zac Efron was far from rusty in the singing department. The box office numbers and chart-topping album sales also suggest that audiences will continue to come out in droves to see Efron belt out a tune or two in a theater near them. Plus, this time, Zac Efron got to sing as a very much adult character dealing with the period issues of the day.

Zac Efron - The Beach Bum

The Beach Bum

Similar to how fellow High School Musical alum (and Efron’s former fling) Vanessa Hudgens moved away from her Disney image with Harmony Korine’s cult hit Spring Breakers, Zac Efron wanted to work with the auteur indie director to push himself as an actor into more adult territory. The result is a limited-but-impressive turn in The Beach Bum, Korine’s recent follow-up to Spring Breakers, which finds Efron playing the role of Flicker, a hard-drinking, Creed-loving, Panini beard-wearing party-lover who mirrors Matthew McConaughey’s titular Beach Bum on his path to self destruction.

Even though he is only in the movie for 10 minutes — maybe 15 minutes max — it is a great and unique turn for Zac Efron. And it’s another performance that shows Zac Efron’s talents as a supporting actor, beyond his leading man roles. Plus, just look at that facial hair.

Zac Efron - Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil & Vile

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil And Vile

In what could easily be described as his most controversial role to date, Zac Efron’s performance as Ted Bundy in the historical drama Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile was met with a great deal of trepidation and concern from the media due to the subject matter at hand. The story of Ted Bundy is not for the faint of heart, and it was certainly a far cry from Zac Efron’s Disney days. Yet, through his involvement in this film, Zac Efron provided a meta thesis to the dramatization of this true story.

Zac Efron’s charisma and good looks are eerily similar to the late serial killer, and it shows how the media painted a muddled picture of the events that caused people to question whether a person like Ted Bundy could commit such heinous crimes, despite the stark evidence that suggested — over and over — that he did. It’s an intriguingly metatexual performance, and one that shows Efron’s dramatic range.

As a young, on-the-rise actor, Zac Efron is continuing to prove himself with a variety of different movies and shows. The actor is steadily expanding and challenging himself in different roles and with different opportunities, and there’s a good chance that we’ll continue to see Zac Efron’s stardom rise in the future. For now, though, we hope we showed you how Zac Efron continues to develop and excel an actor, and how he is much bigger than his work in the High School Musical movies.

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