TV heartthrob Chace Crawford may sing and dance in the Hollywood remake of Footloose, reports E! Online. This past weekend, the Gossip Girl star tested for the part of Ren McCormack, the restless tune-happy teen originally played onscreen by Kevin Bacon, and a source is quoted as saying, “He did really well.”
High School Musical star Zac Efron was set to play the part until last week, when he withdrew from the multimillion-dollar project in order to distance himself from the movie-musical genre with which he is closely associated. In addition to three HSM films, Efron also appeared in the 2007 remake of Hairspray and appeared last month in a production number celebrating musicals during the 2009 Academy Awards ceremony.
Efron had recently received the blessing of original Footloose star Kevin Bacon and spoken enthusiastically of the project to MTV News, explaining he “couldn’t be more excited” about the film and the support of Bacon.
Kenny Ortega, who worked with Efron in the HSM movies, is still committed to the remake and to “reinvigorating” the Footloose franchise with co-producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan both of the big screen’s Chicago and Hairspray adaptations, as well as co-producer Dylan Sellers. Also involved is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist director Peter Sollet, who will rewrite Jon Hartmere’s original Footloose script. The remake will be aimed at an older audience, and will bring back hit songs from the original soundtrack, including Deniece Williams’ “Let's Hear it for the Boy" and the title tune recorded by its co-writer Kenny Loggins, while introducing new songs penned specifically for the project.
Footloose first hit movie screens in February of 1984, and quickly became a phenomenon. In addition to making Kevin Bacon an household name, its chart-topping soundtrack became an MTV staple and a radio fixture. In 1998, a Broadway musical adaptation opened on October 22 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre that year. The show, which starred Jeremy Kushnier as Ren, played 709 performances and nabbed four Tony Award nominations before closing on July 2, 2000.