Zac Efron has been loving his time in Australia so much he's signed on to make a movie here.

The Greatest Showman star will be decamping from his Byron Bay base to South Australia this month to start production on thriller Gold, a film commissioned by streaming platform Stan.

The movie centres on two men who find across an enormous gold nugget while travelling through the outback. While one of them leaves to fetch the tools to dig up the bounty, the other stays behind to protect it.

But the isolation of the harsh desert climate, and with predators circling, starts to prey on his mental state.

Directed by Anthony Hayes (best known for acting roles in Mystery Road and Animal Kingdom), the film is co-written by Hayes and Polly Smyth. Susie Porter will co-star alongside Efron.

 

Zac Efron will lead Australian thriller Gold Picture: Christian Gilles
Zac Efron will lead Australian thriller Gold Picture: Christian Gilles

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Hayes said in a statement: "This is an exciting, gripping and timely tale about greed, humanity, who we are, what we've done to the world and where we are heading if we aren't careful.

"To have Zac Efron as my main man on this film is an absolute gift and to see what he is creating already is like nothing we've seen from him before."

The movie is produced by John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz through Deeper Water Films and Hayes through Rogue Star Pictures.

Executive producers include Andrew Mann, Peter Touche, Simon Williams, Paul Wiegard, Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Nick Forward and Mike Runagall. Shana Levine serves as consultant producer.

Gold will also release into cinemas through local distributor Madman while international sales will go through Altitude Films. South Australian Film Corporation provided funding.

Stan's other upcoming original program includes TV shows Eden and Bump, special Dom & Adrian: 2020 and comedy A Sunburnt Christmas. The latter was also filmed in South Australia.

Efron has been based in Australia since before the coronavirus pandemic and has been trailed by paparazzi eager for shots of the Hollywood star and his Australian supposed girlfriend.

Gold is the first local production he has signed on to.

 

Zac Efron has spent his year in Australia Picture: Instagram
Zac Efron has spent his year in Australia Picture: Instagram

 

With Australia's success in containing COVID infections, it has become a film and TV production hotbed attracting international projects including TV series Nine Perfect Strangers, Joe Exotic and Young Rock.

Productions that were underway before the pandemic shutdowns have resumed, including Baz Luhrmann's Elvis biopic and Netflix series Clickbait.

Marvel's Shang Chi and the Ten Gold Rings wrapped principal photography less than two weeks earlier while pre-production is expected to commence soon on Thor: Love and Thunder with star Natalie Portman and director Taika Waititi already in Australia.

George Miller film Three Thousand Years of Longing is also rumoured to be commencing production soon with star Idris Elba having been seen in Sydney.

Share your movies and TV obsessions | @wenleima

Originally published as Zac Efron to film Australian movie



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