In the film, Efron's character is a cemetery caretaker who has weekly meetings with his younger brother, who died years earlier. Basinger would play the grieving mom. Amanda Crew, who joined the cast late last month, plays Efron's love interest, who is believed to be lost in a sailing accident.
The film is being helmed by Efron's "17 Again" director, Burr Steers, whose credits also include "Igby Goes Down." In order to make the film, Efron passed on the "Footloose" remake — his role went to "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford. Efron has expressed a desire to make more serious-minded films and move away from teen fare.
"I'm very excited about the future and trying new things and the unknown," he told MTV News back in April. "Not that I'm done with musicals in any way, but I feel like I've made somewhat of a mark there, and I'd like to try new things before going back to my safe place."
As for roles like his in "St.Cloud," he said, "I'm not doing anything to drastically to try and change up my image. But I do need to keep things interesting for myself. And grow up. ... I still make very family-friendly films. I'm not involved with the next 'Trainspotting' sequel or anything like that."
Check out everything we've got on "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud."
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.