Zac Efron and Oscar winner Russell Crowe are in talks to replace Dylan O’Brien and Viggo Mortensen in Peter Farrelly‘s next film The Greatest Beer Run Ever, which Apple Studios is now in talks to finance.
Deadline broke the news, reporting that Farrelly‘s Kingpin star Bill Murray is being courted for a supporting role and that production is slated to start in August in either Australia or New Zealand, where the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t nearly as bad as it is in the States.
Farrelly‘s follow-up to Green Book is based on the bestselling book The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty and War by Chick Donohue and J.T. Malloy. Efron will play Donohue, who in 1967 set out on a wild journey from New York to Vietnam just to bring beer to his childhood buddies in the Army as they battled overseas.
Crowe is likely playing a journalist reporting on Vietnam who meets Chickie in a Saigon bar and enlightens him regarding the truth about the war and how the American people have been lied to. Meanwhile, I’d imagine Murray is being eyed to play a character known as The Colonel, a WWII veteran and Chickie’s local bartender who puts the beer run idea in the young man’s head.
Farrelly co-wrote the script with Brian Currie and Pete Jones, and Skydance‘s David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Don Granger will produce with Andrew Muscato. Skydance‘s Aimee Rivera will oversee the project alongside Goldberg and Granger.
Naturally, Deadline‘s report makes no mention of O’Brien or Mortensen, which was likely agreed upon beforehand. An individual familiar with the project tells Collider that scheduling problems were to blame for their exits. As much as I was looking forward to a Farrelly-Mortensen reunion on the heels of Green Book, the project has certainly received a boost in star power between Efron and Crowe, both of whom have busy schedules.
Efron is currently shooting Season 2 of Down to Earth for Netflix, and he’s set to star in Universal‘s Firestarter remake as well as a new take on Three Men and a Baby for Disney+. As for Crowe, he’ll soon be seen in The Georgetown Project, and he’s attached to star alongside Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the indie Rothko from director Sam Taylor-Wood. He’s also set to star opposite Stephan James in Rapman‘s prison drama American Son, which is based on the acclaimed French film A Prophet. The Greatest Beer Run Ever is an intriguing project for both actors, and I look forward to seeing this film sometime in 2022.
For more on Donohue‘s epic story, check out this short documentary directed by Muscato.