The Swedish thriller, based on Jens Lapidus’ Stockholm Noir, is being remade in the US by Warner Bros

Hollywood actor Zac Efron is leaving his teen idol characters to play the lead in Snabba Cash (Easy Money), the US remake of the Swedish hit movie, based on the first part of Swedish author Jens Lapidus’ Stockholm Noir thriller trilogy.

Swedish producer Fredrik Wikström confirmed to the SFI-Filmnyheterna that the 22-year-old High School Musical star has accepted the role of JW, a poor student – and a runner for a coke dealer - who falls in love with an upperclass girl and sets out to make a final score in the underworld of organised crime. “He is perfect for the part, and he seemed very committed to the assignment,” said Wikström after meeting Efron.

Currently preparing the remaining two Swedish features from the trilogy, starring Joel Kinnaman and Matias Padin Varela under the direction of Daniel Espinosa, Wikström and executive producer Michael Hjorth are developing the US remake. “Warner Bros wants it to be realised on a major budget, with a production start within the next two years,” he said. The American producers’ team includes Efron, his manager Jason Barrett, Charles Roven and Richard Suckle.

Domestically Snabba Cash has exceeded 600,000 admissions, as a Nordisk Film Distribution release. TrustNordisk has licensed the Swedish version to more than 20 countries, including the US (through the Weinstein Company).