After Zac Efron and Chace Crawford signed on for and then subsequently dropped out of the forthcoming remake of the dance flick Footloose, the nostalgia piece has been in need of a rhythmic star. Paramount may have just found one in Thomas Dekker. The 22-year-old Dekker has been building a name for himself with series stints on Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and recently starred in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Plus, good buzz surrounds his role in the Cannes film Kaboom, so Dekker has merited consideration for the lead role of Ren McCormack.
In the 1984 original, it was a young Kevin Bacon who played Ren, a “dance-happy outsider who shakes up a small town” [24 Frames]. Like his HSM star, director Kenny Ortega boarded then departed the remake over the last year, while Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) took over the reins. Paramount just announced a casting call for Footloose with intent to shoot this summer, suggesting casting notices will soon be official. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the original, plus my choice for the lead role.
Here’s the synopsis via Amazon:
Director Herbert Ross (The Turning Point) pulled a winning movie out of this almost self-consciously archetypal tale of teenage rock rebellion. Kevin Bacon stars as a hip city kid who ends up in a Bible-belt town after his parents divorce. An ill fit for a conservative community where rock is frowned upon and dancing is forbidden, Bacon’s character rallies the kids and takes on the establishment.
Between a good cast really embracing the drama of Dean Pitchford’s screenplay, and Ross’s imaginative, highly charged way of shooting the dance numbers, you can get lost in this all-ages confection, and you won’t even mind Kenny Loggins’s bubbly pop. Bonuses include one of John Lithgow’s best performances (a bit reminiscent of Jimmy Stewart), and Christopher Penn (who sure doesn’t look the same anymore) as a good-natured hick who learns to boogie.
At 34, Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords would have to play down about a dozen years for the high school-set film, but I think he’s got the goods. I present to you an audition tape, in which McKenzie replicates Bacon’s “angry dance” scene from the original.