Timberlake dancer to play lead in new "Footloose"

Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:20am EDT
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By Jay A. Fernandez

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - After a few missteps, the "Footloose" remake is finally dancing toward production.

Newcomer Kenny Wormald, who recently toured with Justin Timberlake, has been handed the dancing shoes of the lead, Ren, which Kevin Bacon made famous in the 1984 original. Dennis Quaid has also come aboard to play Reverend Moore, the role John Lithgow played in the original, and Miles Teller has nabbed the role of Willard, originally played by the late Chris Penn. "Dancing With the Stars" performer Julianne Hough had already been cast in the Lori Singer role of Ariel.

The project, which is being written and directed by Craig Brewer, now has an April 1, 2011 release date via Paramount.

Director Kenny Ortega was involved with the project last year with star Zac Efron attached, and then Chace Crawford was set to star until he dropped out in April. A worldwide search eventually led to Wormald, a Boston native who appeared in the MTV series "Dancelife."

"When we discovered Kevin Bacon in 1984, we were both excited and gratified -- and also knew the chances of ever duplicating that effort was a million to one shot," said producer Craig Zadan, who also produced the original film. "Decades later, Kenny Wormald proved history could repeat itself."

Jamal Sims, who is choreographing the Neil Patrick Harris production of "Rent" at the Hollywood Bowl in August, is designing the choreography for "Footloose."

"I saw 'Footloose' in my hometown theater when I was 13 years old, and it rocked my world," said Brewer. "It was a teenage rebellion movie that explored the struggles of faith and family in a small town, and it had an awesome soundtrack. I can promise 'Footloose' fans that I will be true to the spirit of the original film. But I still gotta put my own Southern grit into it and kick it into 2011."

Quaid most recently starred in "Pandorum," "Legion" and "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." He will next appear in the drama "Soul Surfer." Teller will next appear in John Cameron Mitchell's "The Rabbit Hole," starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.