Zac Efron to play drug smuggler in thriller

Actor Zac Efron arrives at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 7, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Get ready for Zac Efron, cocaine smuggler.

The “High School Musical” graduate is attached to star in and produce a remake of “Snabba Cash,” a hot Swedish thriller that was the subject of a heavy Hollywood bidding war before ending up at Warner Bros.

“Snabba,” based on a novel by Jens Lapidus, was a major hit in its home country this year. The film follows three interconnected storylines involving drugs and organized crime, with the main character a young man (played in the original by Joel Kinnaman) who hopes to strike it rich quickly by becoming a runner for a coke dealer. Efron would play the runner in the WB version.

The WB deal has a progress-to-production, or “short fuse” clause, so if the studio sits on it for too long, the rights revert to the producers.

For Efron, “Snabba” represents an opportunity for the youngster to grow beyond the teen roles that made him a star. He was in last in theaters a year ago with “17 Again.”