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Zac Efron Offered Lead Role in 'Akira'

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Nov 05, 2010 | 12:55pm EDT

ALT TEXTGeeks hearts are breaking everywhere.

In the much-anticipated live-action adaptation of the 1988 Japanese sci-fi anime Akira, the lead role has been offered to none other than Disney's High School Musical star Zac Efron. And man, the response from the internet collective has been pretty, pretty bad.

For the rest of us non-geeks who have no idea what Akira is or what it's about, the story follows a secret military project that goes wrong and turns a biker gang member into a psychopath psionic who can only be stopped by two kids and another group of psionic people.

So even though I haven't seen this movie and I'm poking fun at nerds, it actually does sound pretty bad-ass. And it seems like, even though everyone is mad about it, that this would be a solid role for Efron to take. He's been trying to break away from the teenybopper image he established with Disney. After Charlie St. Cloud and 17 Again, it seems he is doing it -- just slowly. But, the lead role in a film like Akira, if he handles it right, could prove to be a career-defining move.

And honestly, as much as everyone likes to give Efron crap, it's nice to see that he really wants to do something with his career -- at least something more than being eye candy in a bunch of romantic comedies. Does anyone remember how Heath Ledger handled his rocketship to fame after 10 Things I Hate About You? He was very careful with his role choices, and because of that, he was able to creatively mature and become a well-respected leading man. So, if Efron wants something similar for his career, he has my blessing.

Source: Bloody Disgusting

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