Variety ran a story Wednesday about a new Warner Bros. Project, Art of the Steal, with tweenybopper throb Zac Efron set to star. Hey, isn’t that the name of Don Argott’s controversial 2009 documentary about the big brouhaha over the relocation of the Barnes Foundation from Lower Merion to a site on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway?
So is the High School Musical alum actually going to play the legendary Philadelphia pharmaceutical king, art collector and curmudgeon Albert Barnes in a fictionalized treatment of the doc?
Not a chance. This Art of the Steal, alas, is based Joshuah Bearman’s Wired magazine article about a con man who pulls off a series of tricky heists, all the while leading a double life as well-respected member of the community. Too bad. Can’t you picture Efron’s bespectacled multimillionaire Barnes roaming around early 20th century Europe, hobnobbing with a Pablo Picasso played by Corbin Bleu (it's his bleu period), or a Gertrude Stein elegantly essayed by Vanessa Hudgens?