5 Actors We Want To See As Danny Zuko On Fox's Grease

As a reformed musical theatre geek, I tend to find it a bit frustratrating when a big Hollywood star is cast in a high-profile musical adaption over a super talented Broadway vet or newcomer. Then again, for every time someone like Carrie Underwood who (despite being super talented) botches her Sound of Music telecast, there’s an Allison Williams, who totally exceeded expectations as the titular role in Peter Pan. Even if the show was pretty much a hot mess, Allison’s voice was strong. That’s why I’m reserving judgement on the news that Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens have been cast as Sandy and Rizzo, respectively, on Fox’s live Grease telecast. Julianne has solid stage presence and I liked her in Footloose, Vanessa’s recent Broadway experience has probably given her the confidence and skill needed to do this show – and while I’m not sure either lady has the best vocal chops out there, I’m willing to give them a chance. After all, big stars will do incredible things for ratings. If they decide to go the big star route for the role of Danny as well – and I suspect they will – I hope they choose someone who can do the iconic role justice. Here are five of my top picks for the role.  

5. Chord Overstreet

It’s not just because he sang ‘Summer Nights’ on an episode of Glee either. Chord is best known for playing Sam Evans, a goofy, dim-witted comic-relief character, but he also has great dramatic chops. Anyone who watched the most recent episode of Glee knows he can emote and that shows his versatility. He’s charming enough to step into this role and he has a great voice as well. My only concern is that his voice might not fit the music just right.

4. Skylar Astin

This guy can sing. The Pitch Perfect male lead can obviously do the whole romantic thing and I know that he could nail every single one of Danny’s numbers because his voice is just so strong. The only downside to casting Skylar is the fact that I’m not quite sure if he has the edge needed to play Danny. Still, I think someone with his musical ability could bring something great to the part.

3. Zayn Malik

He has that bad boy thing needed to play a rebellious character like Danny and he obviously has musical experience thanks to his work as a member of One Direction. Of course, the risk you run when you cast a boy bander is that he may have zero acting ability or lose his stage presence when he’s not flanked y his bandmates. I think if Zayn could lose his British accent he could be a great fit for the show, though.

2. Jeremy Jordan

If you saw him on Smash, you know Jeremy Jordan is not only a beautiful human being, he’s also an amazing vocalist. He could play both sides of Danny: The bad boy we see early on and the sweetheart who comes through towards the end. Granted, he seems a bit more mature than Julianne and Vanessa do – they may opt for someone who seems younger. I think he’d be an amazing choice but I almost feel like he’s too modern and won’t have that retro thing you need for a production of Grease. 

1. Zac Efron

If he’s not our generation’s king of movie musicals, I don’t know who is. Zac may not have a Broadway-caliber voice but I feel like there’s no one more telegenic than he is. He has star quality in spades and he’s clearly comfortable with being a little bit corny and not taking himself too seriously. He can also dance and has enough magnetism to carry the show. The drawback? He would have to work with real-life ex Vanessa Hudgens.   [Lead image via]