The next time you see Zac Efron in a movie involving the beach, don't expect him to be in his Baywatch uniform. Via People, these photos of Zac Efron in Harmony Korine's upcoming movie The Beach Bum have surfaced and the actor looks wild. In the picture, which emerged on Twitter, gone is Efron's short, brown hair and cleanly shaved face from The Greatest Showman, High Musical and basically every other movie he's been in, and in its place he's got some punk blond hair and unique facial stylings. Seriously, if you didn't know it was him, you might have trouble figuring out that it was him.
Though there isn't too much information out there about The Beach Bum, the comedy does sound like it could be similar in tone to Korine's 2012 movie Spring Breakers. According to IndieWire the movie follows a stoner, the titular beach bum, named Moondog, played by Matthew McConaughey, who "lives life by his own rules." Along Moondog's journeys he meets another dude with a one-of-a-kind name, Flicker (Efron). Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher and Jimmy Buffet are also along for the ride in some capacity.
As you can probably guess it's described as being a "stoner comedy" though whether Korine will flip the expectations of that genre on its head remains to be seen. Either way, at least the movie is giving us this image of Efron to keep burned in the back of our minds.
Let's just really soak up just how strange these photos are. Sure, there's still elements of classic Efron there: In two of the pictures he appears to be shirtless under that colorful vest (as if he'd miss an opportunity to show off his abs), and there's no denying those fierce eyebrows. Yet, everything else is like looking at a bizarro version of Troy Bolton, who, after graduating from East High School, hitched a ride to Florida and got involved in some intense times and religion.
In addition to Efron's gravity-defying blond hair and the beard that's been trimmed to look horizontal prison stripes, the real piece pièce de résistance is the vest. Decked out in patches with Christian messaging, like one that says "PRAYER WARRIOR" and another that reads "DARWIN IS DEAD, JESUS IS LORD," the vest seems to signal that spreading the word about God is going to be a major part of Efron's character. Unless, that is, Flipper stole the vest off another beach bum? Or maybe is he trying to trick someone through his sartorial choices?
As the picture hit the internet, plenty of Twitter users had their own opinions about the look.
They had theories.
And some observations that have to do with food.
The movie is the second Efron picture currently in production in which the actor appears to be shedding his mainstream pretty-boy image. Several weeks back, Efron shared a rather uncanny photo of himself as serial killer Ted Bundy. Efron is playing the infamous murderer and rapist in the upcoming movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. This role, and Flipper in The Beach Bum, are major departures from the musicals (Hairspray, High School Musical, The Greatest Showman) and romantic movies (Charlie St. Cloud, The Lucky One) that made Efron a star. Though he has had some success in comedies (Neighbors, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates), Korine's auteur reputation sets The Beach Bum apart from the mainstream commercial films of Efron's past.
According to IMDB, The Beach Bum is set to hit theaters sometime in 2018. Until then it's anybody guess what shenanigans Eforn will get up to in his vest with McConaughey in the comedy.