Zac Efron’s $42 million opening weekend as the star of High School Musical 3 has spurred Paramount Pictures to put a planned remake of Footloose on the fast track, according to Variety. The studio hopes to reunite Efron and HSM director/choreographer Kenny Ortega on the film, which could start production as soon as next spring.
Peter Sollett, screenwriter of the hit comedy Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, has been brought in to rewrite the original 1984 script, which centers on teen hero Ren McCormick, who moves from the city to a small midwestern town in which dancing is banned.
The Footloose remake will be produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who collaborated on film versions of Chicago and Hairspray which featured Efron as Link Larkin, along with Dylan Sellers, who has been working with Ortega on Footloose for two years.
Variety reports that Footloose will be aimed at an older audience than High School Musical 3 and that Efron is close to a deal “that will pay him a mid-seven-figure salary and give him script approval.” No word on whether the film will use songs composed by Dean Pitchford and Tom Snow for the 1998 Broadway musical version, which starred Jeremy Kushnier in the role created on film by Kevin Bacon. The film's soundtrack, featuring "Let's Hear it for the Boy" and the title tune recorded by its co-writer Kenny Loggins, were huge hits in the mid-80s.