Forget Zac Efron and Chace Crawford: Unknown lands 'Footloose' lead
Newcomer Kenny Wormald joins Julianne Hough and Dennis Quaid in '80s flick remake
It was Zac Efron that cut loose: the “High School Musical” heartthrob was the initial name attached for the part of Ren (originally played by Kevin Bacon), but he walked away. Chace Crawford and Thomas Dekker were two other names bandied about, but neither ended up signing.
Paramount instead has gone the way of the unknown. Wormald, from Boston, toured as a dancer with Justin Timberlake and appeared in the MTV show “Dancelife.” Thus, “Footloose” marks his first major feature film role.
That pairs him with “Dancing With the Stars” champ Hough, 21, who plays Ariel. Quaid plays her dad, the Reverend Moore (originally John Lithgow). Teller plays Willard.
Writer/director Craig Brewer is helming, with producers Craig Zadan – who produced the first film – Brad Weston and Dylan Sellers. The original “Footloose” screenplay and songwriter Dean Pitchford is executive producing. Jamal Sims (Madonna’s Stick & Sweet Tour, “Rent” at the Hollywood Bowl) will head up choreography.
Hough has a busy year ahead of her, as she promotes forthcoming “Burlesque” with Christina Aguilera and Cher before it drops in November. Her second country album is also skedded for release around then.
Teller appears next in John Cameron Mitchell’s “The Rabbit Hole” with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart.