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Sundance Film Festival 2019: Check out the dramatic roles of Zac Efron, Shia LaBeouf and more in this year's line-up

Sundance Film Festival 2019: Check out the dramatic roles of Zac Efron, Shia LaBeouf and more in this year's line-up

Stars aligned

Text: Aravin Sandran


Hollywood's jacked-up surfer bro Zac Efron might be shedding his squeaky-clean Troy Bolton image from High School Musical (2006) after all. Premiering during this weekend's Sundance Film Festival in Utah, Efron puts a sexy AF spin on the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy in the biopic Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. In his own words, Bundy was "the most cold-hearted son of a bitch you'll ever meet". He used his good looks and charisma to rape, kidnap, murder and burgle at least 30 young women (even some underage minors) during the 1970s. If that isn't creepy enough, he was a necrophile. The film is told through the lens of his girlfriend and single mother Elizabeth Koepfler (played by Lily Collins), who he dated while killing women on the down low. The story doesn't end there either; he later proposes to his co-worker Carol Anne Boone while he was on trial for murder. With his steely blue-eyes and dashing 80s suiting, Efron is definitely killin' it. Something so wrong never looked this good.

 

Shia LaBeouf's wild ways have grabbed its fair share of tabloid headlines in recent years. Take for example his problematic obsession with French fries that got him kicked out of a bowling alley or any one of his eccentric performance art projects. Written by LaBeouf himself, his Sundance-premiering film Honey Boy might provide a little insight into his volatile nature. Starring English alternative musician FKA Twigs and Orange Is The New Black's Natasha Lyonne, the film us an autobiographical interpretation of his early years as a child actor while reconciling with his alcoholic ex-rodeo clown father. Rising star Lucas Hedges plays the young Otis Lort while LaBeouf is totally unrecognisable as the balding and paunchy geezer, James Otis. Not much else is known, but if the first looks are any indication, expect plenty of hard-hitting drama and maybe some award season buzz.

The former star of HBO's Girls, Adam Driver seems to be slowly ascending the typecasting hill. His dramatic turn in the Spike Lee-directed BlacKkKlansman (2018) as the Jewish sidekick Flip Zimmerman saw him earn his very first Golden Globe nomination for 'Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture'. During Sundance, he returns to the silver screen as CIA agent Daniel Jones in The Report. The film explores the CIA's enhanced interrogation programme and its use of extreme torture techniques on detainees in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. The film features a star-studded cast that includes Annette Bening, Jon Hamm and Matthew Rhys. No word on the street on whether the film will depict some distressing torture scenes, but we've got our fingers crossed that Driver can finally nab a golden statue this year.

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