"Fame" remake lines up cast

Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:35am EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez and Borys Kit

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Nine Hollywood hopefuls want you to remember their names.

MGM has compiled most of the lead cast for its remake of the 1980 musical "Fame." Kristy Flores, Paul Iacono, Paul McGill, Naturi Naughton, Kay Panabaker, Kherington Payne, Collins Pennie, Walter Perez and Anna Maria Perez de Tagle have joined the ensemble.

Thomas Dekker ("Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles") also is in negotiations to take one of the remaining leads. And Debbie Allen, who played Lydia in the original, is rumored to be in line for a cameo, though not as the same character.

The studio is seeking actors for the adult roles.

Written by Allison Burnett and Aline Brosh McKenna, the $25 million redo will be directed by choreographer Kevin Tancharoen. Shooting is expected to begin late next month ahead of a September 25 release.

Much like in the Oscar-winning original, directed by Alan Parker, the story will track the failures and fortunes of super-ambitious young performers and their teachers as they navigate a school year at the prestigious High School for the Performing Arts in New York.

As a buoyant batch of relative unknowns in a brutal business, the new cast members mirror the stories of the musical's characters -- rising stars in a variety of artistic disciplines competing for respect and success.

Flores plays Rosie, a dancer; Iacano ("The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie") plays Neil, a filmmaker; McGill plays Kevin, a gay dancer; Naughton ("Notorious") plays Denise, a multitalented classical pianist; Panabaker ("CSI: Crime Scene Investigation") plays Jenny, an actor; Payne ("So You Think You Can Dance") plays Alice, a ballerina; Pennie ("Half Nelson") plays Malik, an artist; Perez ("Friday Night Lights") plays Victor, a musician; and Perez de Tagle ("Hannah Montana") plays Joy Moy. Dekker would play Marco, a singer.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

<p>Actor Thomas Dekker of "Terminator" arrives at the Fox Upfront after-party at Wollman Rink in Central Park in New York City May 15, 2008. Dekker is in negotiations to take one of the remaining leads in remake of the 1980 musical "Fame." REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>