Open Road Films
Zac Efron is diving into one of America's most heartwrenching tragedies: the JFK assassination.
The first pics have surfaced of the Hollywood heartthrob starring in the upcoming drama Parkland have hit the web, courtesy of USA Today, and the shots show Efron looking appropriately sober as his character gets caught up in the events surrounding the murder of President John F. Kennedy.
The film portrays the terrible events of that day from the point of view of the physicians at Parkland Memorial Hospital who treated the commander in chief on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963 shortly after he was shot in Dealey Plaza.
Efron play Jim Carrico, a young surgeon who is part of the emergency response team. Carrico was the first doctor to examine the wounded Kennedy after he was rushed to Parkland and he stayed by the president's side until Kennedy was pronounced dead.
Parkland, as it turned out, was also the same hospital where the president's killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was brought after he was captured and shot in the stomach by Jack Ruby while in custody.
Marcia Gay Harden plays the trauma unit's head nurse while Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti are aboard in the respective roles of Secret Service agent, Forrest Sorrels, and Abraham Zapruder, the witness who inadvertently recorded the assassination on 8mm film.
Parkland, written and directed by Peter Landesman, is set to premiere at the Toronto Film Festival before its scheduled Sept. 20 release.
The flick marks the latest effort by Efron to distance himself from the teen idol image he cultivated six years ago in the High School musical movies.
After costarring with Nicole Kidman in 2012's thriller The Paperboy, the 25-year-old garnered solid acclaim starring in the indie drama, At Any Price, which hit theaters in April. Up next for Efron is the romantic comedy, Are We Officially Dating? and a comedy with Seth Rogen, Townies, due out next year.