There have already been at least nine feature films titled Gold in film history, including the 2016 crime drama which starred Matthew McConaughey. Zac Efron has signed on to make the tenth, which will be a survival thriller set in the Australian outback.
The story follows two strangers who stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever while traveling through the desert. They formulate a plan to protect and excavate their potential riches, but it means one man will have to stay behind while the other leaves to get the necessary equipment.
Efron will play the one who stays, and must endure harsh desert elements, ravenous wild dogs and mysterious intruders, all while battling the suspicion and paranoia that he’s been left out there to die alone.
Australian actor/filmmaker Anthony Hayes (Animal Kingdom) will direct from a script he co-wrote with Polly Smyth. He’ll also co-star alongside Efron. The project hails from Australian streamer Stan, and will be shopped to potential buyers at next week’s American Film Market.
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”.
This sounds like a mix of the Liam Neeson survival thriller The Grey – although that one was set in far colder climate of Alaska – and Gus Van Sant’s Gerry, another film about two men in the desert whose relationship slowly disintegrates. There’s certainly plenty of intrigue here, and it will be interesting to see Efron in this sort of role, the kind of which he hasn’t really played before.
Efron has been busy signing onto projects in recent months, securing roles in Blumhouse’s remake of Stephen King‘s Firestarter, the Disney+ remake of Three Men And A Baby, and King Of The Jungle, which will revolve around disgraced anti-virus guru John McAfee.
Gold is expected to begin filming in Australia later this month.