Mike Fleming

Zac Efron, who opens Friday in Universal’s Charlie St. Cloud, is on the verge of closing on deals for what figure to be his next two star vehicles. His likely next pic is The Lucky One, a Scott Hicks-directed adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel for Warner Bros and producer Denise DiNovi and Kevin McCormick. Efron will play a soldier who returns from Iraq with a picture of a girl that became his good luck charm. He seeks out the girl and they develop a relationship. Will Fetters and Doug McGrath wrote the script.

He’s also taken a shine to Die in a Gunfight, a high octane action script written by neophytes Andrew Berrer and Gabriel Ferrari, both of whom just signed with WME, fresh out of NYU. Efron will play a young New York kid who falls in love with the daughter of his father’s nemesis, setting in motion a Romeo and Juliet-like forbidden romance. The project hasn’t been shopped yet–Mark Gordon’s steering it as producer–and they will likely put on a director first for a potential spring start. I’ve got to give a shout out here to Vulture, which was faster on the draw with the Efron information than I was. CAA and manager Jason Barrett rep him.