In honor of his newly released memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, Matthew Perry has been making news with everything from Keanu Reeves jabs to disclosing that he’s spent “$9 million or something” on trying to get sober. His latest revelation is that the portion of the world anticipating a 17 Again reunion will just have to keep waiting—probably forever. More than a decade after Zac Efron played a younger version of Perry’s character in the 2009 time travel comedy, the elder actor says Efron has declined to play his junior self for a second time, though it would be in a new storyline.
During an interview on SiriusXM’s Pop Culture Spotlight With Jessica Shaw, Perry shared that he had penned a romantic comedy script in which he was originally meant to star. “I finished a screenplay that we’re out with to some people. I want to direct that,” he said. “I have a small part in it. I wrote it for myself, and then realized I’m 20 years too old to play this. So we’re trying to cast the leads now.” When asked about his dream casting, Perry revealed: “Well, it was Zac Efron. But he said no. So we’ve got to find somebody who says yes.”
As for the movie’s love interest, Perry said that The White Lotus’s Aubrey Plaza “almost did it.” He added, “And that would have been perfect because I think she’s great. There’s some dramatic stuff in this too. She came very close, and it would have been perfect.”
Alas, it appears that a soul-searching 40-something can only mystically revert back to his Efron era once before the magic runs dry. Among Efron’s upcoming projects are a second season of his Netflix docuseries, Down to Earth With Zac Efron, and a planned Three Men and a Baby remake at Disney+.