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Vanessa Hudgens up for “Journey 2” role

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Zac Efron effectively has distanced himself from the “High School Musical” franchise that launched him into the stratosphere. He turned heads in “Hairspray,” earned positive remarks for his comedic timing in the otherwise forgettable “17 Again.” And has tried his hand at drama – with mixed results – in “Me and Orson Welles” and “Charlie St. Cloud.” They might not have been slam-dunk hits, but he’s out there trying new things.

His girlfriend and “High School” cohort, Vanessa Hudgens, hasn’t been able to break away just yet. Her only major role outside of the Disney franchise was “Bandslam.” Not much of a stretch. Hudgens is part of the but-kicking female ensemble lined up for Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch,” but we won’t see that until next year. It could be the film that shows us a new side of Hudgens and puts her on the road to non-Disney success.

Here’s news that the tide might have turned in Hudgens’ favor. The Hollywood Reporter says the actress is in “final negotiations” to join Dwayne Johnson and Josh Hutcherson in the “Journey to the Center of the Earth” sequel, tentatively subtitled “The Mysterious Island.” Directed by Brad Peyton, the plot would take the trio in search of a mysterious island as they search for Hutcherson’s gradfather. Johnson, of course, replaces Brendan Fraser, who headlined the original 3D film.

According to the report, Hudgens would play “a Pacific Islander who gets swept into the adventure and ends up falling for Hutcherson.”

Good for him. And if Hudgens lands the role, good for her.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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  • October 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    like seriously?!! he’s not distanced himself from anything. Critics hated his last two movies, and 17 Again WAS Troy Bolton. And CSC was horrible and it didn’t prove he raked in a new audience or demo. In fact, it crashed in the BO…its funny how you consider that ‘breaking out of a mold’.

    Honestly..Ms. Hudgens isn’t given enough credit. She’ll break out of that mold far sooner than he will. especially if he keeps doing weepy lovesick shallow films. He needs to get some real scripts.

    and ETA..while Bandslam might not have broken her out of anything…she def. got the attention from critics..her reviews were stellar, and the character was NOTHING like her ‘gabriella esque’ role in HSM.

  • Tim
    October 15, 2010 | Permalink |

    charlie st. cloud opened at no.3 in the uk BO this weekend! not bad! i was expecting worse!

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