According to Variety, Hustle and Flow director Craig Brewer has been confirmed as the director of the Footloose remake. Brewer, who also rewrote the script for the film, replaces veteran musical director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical), who dropped out of the project due to creative differences.
Right off the bat, Brewer needs to get to work casting the all-important lead role originally played by Kevin Bacon. The part was set to go to Zac Efron, but the actor dropped out over fear that he would be typecast in teen musicals (probably a good call). The next actor to take up the role was Chace Crawford, but he too was forced to drop out of the film due to scheduling conflicts with the television show Gossip Girl.
According to the Variety article, Brewer and Paramount President of Production Adam Goodman are aiming to create a feel that is in keeping with the original Footloose. In other words, the pair want to make the movie a straight-up drama, rather than a showcase for singing and dancing.
While I admire this direction, if you think about the contrived plot of the original film (city boy moves to a small repressed town and disrespects the elders by teaching kids to dance), it almost seems more appropriate to go with a glittery musical. Given Brewer's script rewrite, however, the remake may in fact be gritty enough to pull off the drama.
Overall, I'm not too excited about this film - Footloose doesn't seem particularly ripe for a remake. If you look at Screen Rant's Top 5 Rules for Movie Remakes, the justification for a Footloose remake most likely falls into category four: "The remake does in fact bring something new while respecting the original." The problem is, I'm not sure what that "something new" could be. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
What do you think? Do you like Craig Brewer for Footloose? Is the original film a good candidate for a remake?
Source: Variety via Collider