Hollywood decided to begin plundering its vault of 1980s titles a couple years back, resulting in last year’s release of a successful Karate Kid remake and a moderately popular A-Team movie. Studios are hoping lightning will strike twice this year, with both this summer’s updated version of Fright Night – and this fall’s modernized take on Footloose.
A trailer has been released for the new Footloose, which was directed by Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) and co-written by Dean Pitchford – the same fellow who scripted the original Kevin Bacon vehicle. But have the two successfully reworked the 1984 film for a new generation?
One thing Brewer and Pitchford have left unaltered is the basic premise of both the original Footloose movie and its 1998 stage musical adaptation: A big city boy has to handle some major culture shock when he moves to a (here, fictional) small Southern city – where dancing has been outlawed, due to a terrible accident some years before.
However, instead of a 26-year-old Bacon in the role of dance-happy teenager Ren MacCormack, the new film features… 26-year-old Kenny Wormald (You Got Served) as the break-dancing fool from Chicago. Likewise, Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages) takes on the role of Ariel Moore, Ren’s love interest and daughter of the strict Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid, filling in for John Lithgow), who is dead set against Kenny and his “trouble-making” ways.
Check out the trailer for the Footloose remake (via MTV) below:
Brewer’s Footloose remake appears to have gone the “Dark Knight” route (re: edgier and grittier) that just about every upcoming reboot or remake has selected to take. There’s nothing inherently bad about that approach, but it’s difficult to say whether or not that will really work with a property like this. The original 1984 film had it fair share of silliness – like how a bunch of repressed, small-town teens are almost sporadically able to shake it like professional dancers – but there was also something charmingly hokey about that movie. It’s difficult to imagine the remake can do likewise.
Not helping matters is the central conflict of the film, which kind of strains credibility in a contemporary setting. While everything from the fashion and language to the hip-hop music in this early Footloose footage is distinctly modern, the old-fashioned story of a rebellious youth butting heads with a bunch of stuck-in-the-mud authorities seems a bit incongruous with its surroundings (feel free to debate that in the comments section). However, that might not matter much to moviegoers if Wormald and Hough ultimately prove to make for a charismatic couple onscreen – when they’re not just pulling backflips or grinding on one another, that is.
On that note – check out the Footloose movie poster below:
Footloose will dance its way into U.S. theaters on October 14th, 2011.