Zac Efron is making his play toward adulthood with his starring role in this weekend's weepie Charlie St. Cloud, which is basically a Nicholas Sparks movie with an added supernatural element. But you know you've never hit the big time as a matinee idol until you've starred in an actual Nicholas Sparks movie (what, you've never heard that rule?), so Efron is trying to do just that. According to Vulture he's in negotiations to star in The Lucky One, a Sparks adaptation currently set up at Warner Bros. in which Efron would play a former Marine seeking out the woman in a snapshot he considered his good-luck charm while fighting in Iraq.

That sounds about as logical and mopey as any other Sparks adaptation like The Notebook, The Last Song or Dear John, though I admit, Efron is an uncommonly big star to jump on this train. Usually Sparks movies star up-and-comers who just want the exposure-- Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, Amanda Seyfried and Channing Tatum in Dear John-- or older stars with a lack of better options-- Diane Lane and Richard Gere in Nights in Rodanthe. Charlie St. Cloud really did seem like Efron's attempt at the ladykiller weepie without having to go the low-rent Sparks route. Maybe I'm just underestimating the cultural cachet of movies in which you are guaranteed that one of the major characters will die, every single time?

The Vulture piece also notes that Efron is also looking into starring in Die in a Gun Fight, a kind of an action romance in which he'd played a rich New York kid who falls for the daughter of his father's nemesis. That one sounds like a much more interesting kind of departure for Efron, but given the enduring popularity of movies based on Sparks novels, you can guarantee which one you'll be hearing from first.

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