Zac Efron to Star in Australian Survival Thriller 'Gold'

Zac Efron
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Zac Efron

'Animal Kingdom' actor Anthony Hayes will direct and co-star in the film, about two strangers who stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found.

Zac Efron is set to star in the epic survival thriller Gold, which will be introduced to buyers at the upcoming virtual AFM.

The feature comes from Animal Kingdom and The Light Between Oceans actor Anthony Hayes, who will co-star and direct from a screenplay he co-wrote with Polly Smyth.

Set against the backdrop of a vast, unique and unforgiving landscape, Gold is billed as a taut thriller about greed and the lengths people will go to secure themselves a fortune.

When two strangers traveling through a desert stumble across the biggest gold nugget ever found, they dream of immense wealth and greed takes hold. They hatch a plan to protect and excavate their bounty with one man leaving to secure the necessary equipment. The other man remains and must endure harsh desert elements, ravenous wild dogs and mysterious intruders, while battling the sinking suspicion that he has been abandoned to his own fate.

"This is an exciting, gripping and timely tale about greed, humanity, who we are, what we’ve done to the world and where we are heading if we aren’t careful," said Hayes. "To have Zac Efron as my main man on this film is an absolute gift and to see what he is creating already is like nothing we’ve seen from him before. I can’t wait to deliver this bold, visceral and cinematic film to audiences all around the world."

Altitude Film Sales will introduce the film to buyers at the AFM, and will co-rep domestic sales with CAA Media Finance.

John Schwarz and Michael Schwarz will produce through their Deeper Water Films banner (Danger Close: The Battle of Long Tan), alongside Hayes for Rogue Star Pictures, with principal photography commencing in Australia this month. Executive producers are Andrew Mann, Peter Touche, Simon Williams, Paul Wiegard, Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, Nick Forward and Mike Runagall.

Gold will be released in Australian cinemas through Madman Entertainment before screening on Stan (it's labeled as a 'Stan Original Film').