Zac Efron hasn’t lit up the silver screen since 2019’s drama movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, so you’d be forgiven for not recognising him in his new film, Gold. That said, even if you’d seen him just the other day, you’d probably not recognise him because Efron looks like he’s been through the wringer in Gold’s first teaser.
In a video shared on Efron’s Instagram, you can see the High School Musical star’s skin is burned and pockmarked, his usually well-groomed hair and beard look shabby, and he’s actually wearing a shirt! Efron filmed Gold over the summer in the Australian desert, and in the post, he outlined just how tough filming was.
“Filming this was brutal— but I love this shit,” he wrote. “So proud of everyone involved, and thank you to everyone who has watched so far.” During the short teaser, Efron directly addresses the camera directly saying how the shoot might have been brutal but adding that he was awed by the beauty of Australia’s natural landscape.
“I’ve never been anywhere quite like it, to be honest. When we drove out to the location, I was blown away by the scenery, the vibe and the feel of the area,” Efron explained. “It was unbelievably beautiful. It was mesmerising. Very desolate and dry and very harsh conditions.”
Directed by Anthony Hayes, Gold is a thriller movie that tells the story of Virgil (Efron), a drifter in the not so far future who wanders the Australian outback. One day he and a man named Keith (Hayes) stumble across a huge nugget of gold, and both see a way out of their nomadic lives.
When Keith goes to get the equipment to mine the gold, Virgil is left behind to guard the treasure. But the outback is an unforgiving place, and Virgil must battle the elements, diminishing supplies, and his own loneliness to protect the gold. Even more worryingly, there’s another stranger (Susie Porter) on the horizon.
Gold doesn’t have a UK release date yet, so while we wait for one, why not check out our list of the best action movies.