Hacked Emails Reveal Sony Execs Don't Think Zac Efron Is a 'Comedy Star'
By Stacy Lambe
The "Sony Hack" continues to be a black eye for the studio as
Wikileaks adds thousands of more emails that were first released by
hackers back in December.
In the latest discovery, ETonline learned that former co-chairman Amy Pascal
and other Sony employees were not fans of Zac Efron and Robert De Niro’s
upcoming comedy, Dirty Grandpa then
titled Driving Dick Kelly.
“A few laughs here and there, but overall a definite pass
for me,” one employee wrote in an email to Pascal in September of 2014, adding:
“I think guys in my generation don't really look to Zac Efron as a comedy star.”
In another email, an employee said Efron -- who last starred
in the wildly successful Neighbors
with Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne -- is “best when he is the straight-ish guy
tossed into funny, absurdist situations.”
De Niro didn’t fare much better. One email said audiences don’t want to see the 71-year-old actor playing the aging grandfather who tricks his grandson into driving him to Florida. “His [character’s] antics feel sweaty and like raunch for raunch's sake,” an employee wrote.
Ultimately, Pascal “couldn’t agree more” with her team’s assessment, passing on the project.
Is this a bad omen for Efron’s new film, or did Sony pass on a potential box office hit?
Dirty Grandpa, which co-stars Adam Pally, Aubrey Plaza, and Julianne Hough, is scheduled to hit theaters on August 12, 2016 and is being distributed by Lionsgate.