‘Footloose’ remake trying to get leg up

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July 18, 2010 by Chris Reynolds

Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack in the original "Footloose."

I am not usually one to go for the dancing movies, but this is a classic. Well, and I promised my girlfriend – but most importantly it’s a classic.

This remake of the 1984 original, staring Kevin Bacon, has been having some difficulty finding a leading star to play the film’s main protagonist, Ren McCormack, since 2009.

At that time young heartthrob/singer/actor Zach Efron originally had the role according to Movie Insider. However, he stepped down in March of last year, to the dismay of many screaming teenage fans.

Then they turned there sites to Chace Crawford, (The Covenant & Gossip Girl) who essentially looks like a more mature Efron. After Crawford was set to play McCormack he too had to withdraw, because of scheduling conflicts with “Gossip Girl.”

Director and screen writer for the film, Craig Brewer, is best known for his work on “Black Snake Moan” and “Hustle & Flow.” And with a list of dramas like that, maybe this flick wont be so bad for the testosterone crowd. Well, maybe after a good brewsky or two.

The thing that may negate what I just said is the actor who will be playing McCormack, as of last month. Kenny Wormald (Center Stage: Turn It Up) is a dancer/ choreographer whose first credited performance, according to IMDB, is “dancer” on an episode of “The Drew Carey Show” in 2002. Since then he has starred in “Got Served” and even “Clerks II” as a generic dancer.

So don’t get me wrong, he sounds like the right kid for the job. But with the mix of nitty gritty directing/screen writing styles of Brewer and the various styles of dancing Wormald has done, we could see great things, or a traumatic clash.

And hold on to your dancing shoes because professional ballroom dancer Julianne Hough (Dancing With the Stars) is also in line to play McCormack’s love interest in the film.

Depending on the amount of modernization the film entails is a big factor as well. If it takes place in a modern day slum town where dance is banned, I think the film would lose all hopes of originality and loyal viewers. Whereas if there were a  town similar to the one in the original (modern or not), it would do much better.

“Footloose” is set to release in April of 2011.

What do you think about all this? How should the modernization be handled? Or should the time be left alone? What do you think about the choices in lead actor and director/screenwriter?

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