Adult Swim and the “Robot Chicken” gang have teamed for “Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode III,” a third installment in the highly-rated series of specials, which will premiere on December 12. And this time, there is a heartthrob infusion into the geek squad, with Zac Efron on board to voice Anakin Skywalker. Other new voice cast members for Episode III include Anthony Daniels from the original “Star Wars” films as C3PO, Mike Henry (“The Cleveland Show”) and Donald Glover (“Community”).
Returning from the previous specials are Billy Dee Williams, Ahmed Best, co-creators Seth Green and Matthew Senreich, Breckin Meyer, Seth MacFarlane, Dan Milano, Abe Benrubi, Donald Faison, Rachael Leigh Cook, Adrianne Pallicki, Eden Espinosa, Hugh Davidson, Bob Bergen, Keith Ferguson, Tom Kane and Zeb Wells.
“We’re telling more of a linear story this time that covers the series from start to finish,” says Green.
Added Senreich says, “We wanted to take the ‘Star Wars’ universe and see if through the eyes of our ‘Robot Chicken: Star Wars’ Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and Gary the Stormtrooper. We’ll still flip around the universe but we’ll get a unique perspective from the bad guy side, from people who just want to rule the universe.”
Chris McKay is directing the third “Robot Chicken: Star Wars” special in the series whose previous two installments earned multiple Emmy nominations and Annie Awards. “Robot Chicken” and its “Star Wars” specials hail from Green and Senreich’s Stoopid Monkey Prods. and Alex Bulkley and Corey Campodonico’s ShadowMachine Films. [Source]
Warner Bros. has picked up an untitled workplace comedy by Jason Filardi for Zac Efron to star in and produce. Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot are in negotiations to produce via their Offspring Entertainment banner. Attaching himself to the Filardi workplace comedy is the latest move for Efron, who set up his production shingle at Warners in February but has quietly been putting the pieces together with his manager, Alchemy Entertainment’s Jason Barrett.
The company now has a name – Ninjas Runnin’ Wild Prods. – and has staffed up, with former Fox executive Jason Young coming aboard as head of development and to act as point person at NRW. Young spent five years at Fox, working on “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “Live Free or Die Hard” and “Max Payne,” among other movies.
Angie Edgar, a former assistant and creative executive at Alchemy, has been tapped to act as NRW’s creative executive.
Barrett will oversee NRW’s operations with Efron. The Filardi workplace comedy, on which Barrett also will be a producer, is a reuniting of the team behind “17 Again,” Efron’s high school body-switch comedy that grossed $136 million worldwide last year. The film allowed Efron to move beyond his “High School Musical” roots while trying to build on his core audience.
In addition to that comedy, the following projects are in development at NRW:
1. “Art of the Steal,” set up at Warners three weeks ago, has Kevin McCormick’s Langley Park Prods. producing with NRW. The project, centering on a master thief, is based on the Wired magazine article by Joshua Bearman; the producers are out to writers.
2. “Einstein Theory,” a time-travel story from Tim Calpin and Kevin Jakubowski also is set up at Warners. Mark Gordon, Bryan Zuriff and “Get Him to the Greek” director Nick Stoller are producing what is intended to be an Efron vehicle.
3. “Fire” is based on the Brian Michael Bendis graphic novel about a college student recruited to take part in a special CIA training program. Bendis is writing the adaptation, set up at Universal, with Neal Moritz and David Engel producing. Efron and Barrett are executive producing.
4. “Snabba cash” is a remake of the Swedish thriller directed by Daniel Espinosa. The project is an Atlas Entertainment-NRW co-production, with Efron producing alongside Chuck Roven, Richard Suckle and Fredrik Wikstrom. Michael Hjorth and Barrett are executive producing.
Separate from NRW, Efron and Barrett also are involved in producer capacities with Leslie Dixon’s untitled thriller set up at Mandate. Barrett is producing with Greg Shapiro and Dixon, and Efron executive produces with Mandate’s Nathan Kahane.
In a time in which much of the industry is cutting back or contracting, NRW’s strategy is unusual for its broad base. The company has been aggressive in finding vehicles and opportunities for Efron, rather than waiting for the studios to come calling.
It also has been transitioning the 22-year old Efron into an adult actor. Such projects as “Fire” and “Snabba” are designed to expand his portfolio to include an action thriller and an edgy drama while also allowing him to work with such Hollywood players as Roven and Moritz.
Efron, also repped by CAA, next stars in the coming-of-age drama “Charlie St. Cloud,” which Universal opens July 30. [Source]
Zac Efron pats his hair down as he stops by Good Day Philly on Monday morning (July 12) to chat about his new film, “Charlie St. Cloud.”
Check out what the 22-year-old actor had to say about the role of Charlie: “It really struck an emotional chord with me. I have a little brother myself, he’s 17… wait, he’s 18. I keep doing that (laughs). We were best friends growing up and we’re at that place where I see him as more of a real person. I read the script and the planets just sort of aligned.” [Source]
Actor Zac Efron dropped by Good Day on Monday, and talked about his new movie, and how stays in shape. Efron is appearing in the new movie drama, “Charlie St. Cloud,” which hits theaters on July 30.
Among the topics Efron discussed with Good Day:
1. He stays in shape as part of his routine of being a public figure, but he didn’t divulge any fitness secrets. But he relaxes by working out.
2. He wants to get a cheese steak in Philly.
3. He also to run the Art Museum steps.
Efron also wouldn’t divulge if Vanessa Hudgens was with him on the publicity tour. [Source]
Zac Efron says his relationship with girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens has helped him over the years. The actor – who hooked up with Hudgens while the pair filmed Disney’s “High School Musical” movies – says the couple work hard to avoid the temptations of Hollywood.
“It helped me through quite a bit,” he said. “There are myriad distractions to fall into in this business. To have someone to share with and to relate to is a very valuable gift.”
Efron recently denied claims he and Hudgens are getting married. [Source]
Here is the updated list of Zac Efron’s upcoming television appearances. Enjoy!
14 July – ESPY Awards on ESPN (9 p.m. ET)
20 July – The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on NBC (11:35 p.m. ET)
27 July – The Today Show on NBC (7 a.m. EST)
27 July – Live With Regis & Kelly on NBC (10 a.m. EST)
28 July – Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC (11:06 p.m. CST)
29 July – Lopez Tonight on TBS (11 p.m. EST)