Zac Efron Shouldn't Be in 'Grease' Because His 'High School Musical' Days Are Behind Him

Professionally speaking, Zac Efron's been doing pretty well for himself for quite a while now. His career's evolved from a supporting arc in Summerland, to mega-success with High School Musical, to the promising Neighbors hitting theaters soon. Still, with the recent effort to get Efron to star in Fox's Grease , one thing's becoming clear: We're not really letting Efron move on from his High School Musical past. But we really should.

Yes, it is time for the true emancipation of Zac Efron. Neighbors looks raunchy in a way Disney Channel would most definitely not approve of, and he's about to star in a John Grisham adaptation that will attract more middle-aged dads than it will nostalgic millennials. But unfortunately for him, he's still in that awkward phase pretty unique to former Disney superstars: You're doing your own thing, but the world will still try to nudge you back towards high school-set musicals whenever it can.

Case-in-point: E! News polled their readers about who they'd like to see star in Fox's recently announced live production of the musical Grease , and Efron — rather predictably — landed at the top of the list. Efron's response? That he "felt honored." Also?

Those are big shoes to fill. I think I came as close to it as you could in High School Musical...To actually do that?...Yeah, those are big shoes.

That's not an outright denial, because Efron's managed to remain a publicly classy fellow. But that's also a pretty spectacularly diplomatic way of saying "no way in hell."

It seems unlikely Efron would voluntarily step back into high school-set musical shoes when the memory of him in the multiple high school-set musicals that made him a mega-star are still so fresh in the public memory. Efron's showed refreshingly little public shame about that past — we all start somewhere, and his start was delightful — but he seems content with having moved past it. It means he gets to make a lot more dick jokes with Seth Rogen.

Nostalgia is a powerful thing; so is typecasting. But we can enjoy the former (reruns! DVDs!) without enforcing the latter. Onward, Efron!