Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford has dropped out of the forthcoming feature film remake of Footloose, according to EW.com. No reason has been reported, although a possible conflict with the young star’s TV shooting schedule in the coming months has been suggested. Dancing with the Stars two-time champ Julianne Hough remains attached to the movie, which will have a script by Craig Brewer (Hustle and Flow). Sources tell EW that the lead role of Ren (originated by Kevin Bacon in the 1984 hit drama) is now likely to be played by an unknown.
As previously reported, High School Musical star Zac Efron had been set to star as Ren, who brings dancing to a rural community in the face of opposition from a local reverend, but dropped out to avoid appearing in another teen musical. After Crawford was cast, director/choreographer Kenny Ortega also bowed out, reportedly because of disagreements with Paramount Pictures’ demands for an edgier movie with less emphasis on musical numbers and a budget of $25 million or less.
In addition to the original feature film, Footloose was adapted into a 1998 Broadway musical starring Jeremy Kushnier as Ren and Lend Me a Tenor star Jennifer Laura Thompson as his girlfriend Ariel.