June 07, 2013 10:48am EST
Actor Kevin Bacon rejected an opportunity to make a cameo in the 2011 remake of his movie classic Footloose because the role he was offered was "lousy". The star shot to fame as lead character Ren McCormack in the 1984 original, so he was excited when he was asked if he wanted to return to the franchise for director Craig Brewer's modern update.
However, Bacon was not impressed with the scene he had been cast in and decided to turn down the part - for the good of the whole movie.
Speaking at the Follow This event at New York's Paley Center for Media on Tuesday (04Jun13), he explained, "It was a lousy part! I was (McCormack's) father, which I don't mind, but he was just a miserable prick. I honestly think I would have done a disservice to the film... there was no point to me being in the movie...
"They built a scene that was really only there for me to be in the movie, and once I said no, they took the scene out... I liked the movie, though!"
The 2011 film featured Kenny Wormald stepping into Bacon's shoes as the male lead, while Julianne Hough portrayed his love interest, a role previously made famous by Lori Singer.
January 10, 2012 12:21pm EST
There are some rules to handling the new Footloose remake Blu-ray/DVD release. First: you've got to turn it around. Second: you put your feet on the ground. Third: you take ahold of...well, then it sort of gets a little nebulous. But the important thing to remember is the loose-cutting. You need—and this is legally mandatory—to cut loose. Additionally, have you a set of footwear alloted specifically for the Christian Sabbath, you'd be remiss not to kick them off. For the general public, this about covers the contractual regulations attached to the Blu-ray ownership. However, a few additional stipulations can be found below for unique cases:
If your legal given name is Louise: pull [one] off of [one's] knees
If your legal given name is Jack: get back (prior to cracking)
If your legal given name is Marie: shake it, shake it for [the party in question]
If your legal given name is Milo: goOtherwise, enjoy the new Blu-ray/DVD release on Mar. 6!
BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO BACK SPECIAL FEATURES
Commentary by director Craig Brewer
Jump Back: Re-Imagining Footloose
Everybody Cut: The Stars of Footloose
Dancing with the Footloose Stars
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Craig Brewer
“Footloose” Music Video by Blake Shelton
“Fake ID” Music Video by Big & Rich
“Holding Out For A Hero” Music Video by Ella Mae Bowen
DVD SPECIAL FEATURES
Commentary by director Craig Brewer
Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Craig Brewer
“Fake ID” Music Video by Big & Rich
October 14, 2011 9:37am EST
In Craig Brewer’s (Hustle & Flow Black Snake Moan) Footloose – a remake of the beloved 1984 film – newcomer Kenny Wormald plays Ren McCormack a surly Boston teen forced to move in with his uncle’s family in Bomont Georgia after the death of his mother. For the past three years the youths of Bomont have suffered under a town ordinance barring all public dancing – the consequence of a tragic car accident that claimed the lives of five intoxicated high-school students leaving a dance party.
This vexes Ren. Like all red-blooded teenage boys he wants nothing more than to dance dance dance and he’ll be damned if he’ll let some reactionary (and undoubtedly unconstitutional) law prevent him from pursuing his passion. He vows to have it overturned in time for the students of Bomont to a mount a Senior Prom placing him on a collision course with Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) the uptight local preacher who spearheaded the anti-dancing campaign after losing his only son in the crash.
An acknowledged Footloose-phile Brewer’s affection for the 1984 film is such that he scarcely strays from the original’s script. Apart from an added opening sequence that depicts what was only revealed in the previous film through exposition the narrative – and indeed a healthy chunk of the dialogue – remains essentially unchanged. Brewer’s approach calls simply for retrofitting Footloose for a new generation: The choreography is more sophisticated the outfits more revealing the cinematography more polished the cast more diverse. Memorable scenes have been suitably punched-up: The superfluous tractor race is now a superfluous bus race; Ren’s iconic “angry dance” sequence is well angrier.
A dancer by training Wormald won’t invite many favorable comparisons to Kevin Bacon who famously portrayed Ren in the previous Footloose but he makes for a surprisingly endearing rebel-protagonist. Likewise Brewer fills out most of the rest of the cast with lesser-known yet capable players. Dancing With the Stars’ Julianne Hough plays Moore’s fiery troubled daughter Ariel whom Ren hopes to pry from her brutish boyfriend Chuck Cranston (Patrick John Flueger). A scene-stealing Miles Teller adds a deft comic touch as Ren’s wisecracking and resolutely dance-averse sidekick Willard.
With all its modern upgrades Brewer’s Footloose still retains its predecessor’s earnest unironic and avowedly anachronistic ethos. As before the storyline steeped as it is in melodrama and sentiment often borders on embarrassing. And yet there's an irresistible allure to its prevailing tone of joyful exuberance expressed most potently in the film's lively dance sequences. Sure Footloose sings a familiar tune but its got a good beat and you can dance to it.
October 14, 2011 7:17am EST
Starting this Friday, Julianne Hough can be seen opposite Kenny Wormald in the Footloose remake. You can also find her on billboards, on iTunes, in commercials for ProActive, and on the arm of Ryan Seacrest. But the world hasn’t always been this full of Julianne Hough -- in fact, there was once a time (long before ago) when Hough was just another girl in a suburb of Salt Lake City who liked to dance.
Hough was born in July of 1988 to Mari Ann Heaton and Bruce Hough, the chairman of the Utah Republican Party (who, incidentally, met when they were both on their Idaho college’s ballroom dancing team). She was the fifth and final child of the family, and she officially began entering in dance competitions when she was 9. But then when she was 10, Hough's parents realized they wanted to divorce so they sent her and her older brother Derek (also a dancer from Dancing with the Stars) to London so they could continue studying with their coaches (Corky and Shirley Ballas) without witnessing the unpleasantries of their parents' separation. Once there, the Houghs (along with the Ballas’ son Mark, who also is a pro on Dancing with the Stars) enrolled in school at the Italia Conti Academy, where they learned about singing, theatre, gymnastics, and of course, dance. When she was 13, Julianne and Derek and Mark took the skills they’d acquired at school and formed the pop music group 2B1G (which adorably stood for “2 boys, 1 girl”) and went on to perform at several dance competitions in both the U.S. and the U.K. By the time she was 15, she was the youngest person ever to be named both the Junior Latin World Champion and the International Latin Youth Champion at the Blackpool Dance Festival (which is the world’s first and most famous ballroom dance competition that has been held in Blackpool, England since 1920). Upon returning to the states when she was 15 and after she finished high school in both Las Vegas and Utah, Hough then moved to Los Angeles to jumpstart her career in entertainment.
But she wasn’t immediately cast on Dancing with the Stars. It was only after starring in some television commercials that she was cast to be a dancer on Show Me The Money, which was a William Shatner-hosted game show featuring 13 dancers holding scrolls (it was not very much different than today’s Deal Or No Deal). And while Show Me The Money was a rather short-lived program, Julianne took the credential and used it to get a spot as a company dancer on the Dancing with the Stars tour. She was eventually promoted and joined the show’s main cast in time for its fourth season, which premiered on March 19th, 2007. She was partnered with Olympic Gold Medalist Apolo Anton Ohno and the two of them went on to beat Laila Ali and Joe Fatone and receive the famed Mirror Ball Trophy. In the premiere of the show’s fifth season on September 24th, 2007 Hough was partnered with Indy racecar driver Helio Castroneves, and together they earned Hough her second Mirror Ball Trophy of the year. After the show’s seventh season ended in November of 2008, Hough stated on Ryan Seacrest's radio show she was planning to leave Dancing with the Stars so she could pursue a career in country music, although she ultimately continued dancing through the show's eighth season. But Hough’s participation on DWTS led to much more than just some mantle decor – in 2008 and in 2009 she was nominated for Emmys in the Outstanding Choreography category.
Even though Hough was only known for her dancing for the majority of 2007, she was privately planning to switch into the music industry all along. In May of that year she recorded a song called “Will You Dance With Me” and released it on iTunes to help benefit the American Red Cross. After signing with Universal Music Group Nashville, Hough began collaborating with producer David Malloy to create a self-titled album, which went on to debut in the #1 spot on the Top Country Albums chart on May 28th, 2008. On October 12th, Hough released a Christmas themed EP through Target called Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection, which sold around 250,000 copies. In April of 2009, she won the Top New Artist award at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards and she recently completed her second studio album with Mercury Nashville, and it is slated to hit stores next year.
Hough’s success both on television and in music meant she was the perfect addition to the cast of 2010’s Burlesque, which starred Christina Aguilera as Ali, the girl from Iowa who became a dancer at a Los Angeles burlesque club owned by a former entertainer named Tess (played by Cher). The movie threaded song and dance into the plot in ways we haven’t really seen since 2006’s Dreamgirls and even though the film failed to turn a profit, Hough’s performance as one of the club’s dancers proved to producers that making movies was not outside her realm of capabilities. Hough was rewarded for Burlesque when she was cast as the female lead in Craig Brewer’s remake of the 1984 hit, Footloose. And while the public remains torn on whether or not the original Footloose even deserved a remake, they all seem to agree that Hough’s interpretation of Ariel is endearing and even earned her comparisons to a younger Jennifer Aniston.
Next up for Hough is Adam Shankman’s highly anticipated film adaptation of the Broadway musical, Rock of Ages, which stars Alec Baldwin, Tom Cruise, Russell Brand and Catherine Zeta-Jones. If successful, her participation in the flick has the capacity to launch her into whichever entertainment stratosphere she wishes to primarily inhabit (that is, of course, if she can ever decide).
Sources: Julianne Hough, Wikipedia, IMDB, CMT, ACM Country, THR
October 13, 2011 1:29pm EST
If you think Craig Brewer an unusual choice to direct a remake of Footloose, you’re not alone. The man behind such gritty, provocative films as Hustle & Flow and Black Snake Moan was himself vehemently opposed to the idea of revisiting the avowedly cheesy 1984 dance drama – that is, until a bunch of dead bugs helped convince him otherwise. In an exclusive interview, affable, Memphis-based Brewer discussed his surprisingly intense devotion to the original Footloose, and why he feels the remake fits comfortable alongside the other films in his canon.
A lot of directors would recoil at the thought of remaking a film like Footloose. How did you react when you were first approached?
Oh, I recoiled. Several times I recoiled. The first time was when I read that they were doing it. I was, like many others, thinking that it was going to be kind of terrible. Why would they need to do that? It’s a classic movie; they’re gonna ruin it. And [I recoiled] again when my agent called and said, “They’re not making that movie. They want you to make it.” And I said, “No, it’s a pass. I can’t do Footloose. Why would you want to do Footloose?” It was the most important movie of my young adult life. I couldn’t see how it could be updated, how it could be relevant. And I said no. He said, “Well, would you read the script they developed?” And they sent me the script, and I was like, “No!” The script was nothing like the original. So I again told them no.
I’m on my way to this bachelor party down in New Orleans, from Memphis – a friend of mine for years is getting married. I’m on that long bridge that’s over the swampland, and I get a call from the president of Paramount, Adam Goodman, and he’s like, “I refuse to accept your pass. Why do you keep passing on Footloose?” We kind of got into it right there. I said, “Look, I appreciate you calling me and everything, but why are you guys wanting to remake Footloose? Is this just a money grab?” He said, “No. We think that there needs to be a teenager movie that has these same ideals, and that’s why we want you to do it the way you would do it. How would you do it?” And I was like, “Well, I’d do Footloose. I wouldn’t try to reinvent it in any way. I’d try to make it more relevant., but I just couldn’t see how to do it.”
Then there were all these bugs coming out of the swampland that were hitting my windshield. I’d got a rental and I hit the windshield wiper with the fluid spray, but there was no fluid spray, so it smeared all the bug guts across my window and I couldn’t see through it. So all the oncoming traffic, the headlights would light up my car, and I really felt like I could crash into them at any minute. And that’s when I got the idea. [The accident] was always alluded to in the movie, but I never saw this crash. I never saw the moment where these teenagers hit another car, but I didn’t see that tragedy. It’d heard about it; it was an afterthought to a law that was already in place in this conservative town. But the idea of trauma, and a small town dealing with that trauma and being very reactionary and to some extent over-reactionary, bringing in all these rules and laws to protect their kids, suddenly that seemed to me much more relevant that even in 1984. So by resisting [the project] and fighting with them, I really saw a way to bring it to a modern audience and yet still be in the mythology of Footloose. I wanted fans to be tapping their feet to Kenny Loggins and singing along, but then they get hit with this truck. I wanted fans to go, “What? Oh, that’s right.” After that, everything started to fall into place.
Did you wonder why they were so ardent in pursuing you? You don’t immediately strike me as the first choice for a project like this.
I think the problem that most people have – and I totally get it – is they see my movies and they have a memory of Footloose that I think is somewhat skewed. I was telling someone the other day, “Well, I made this movie about this girl that experiences a really traumatic event in her life and so she starts screwing around with this guy and being really self destructive. She tries to kill herself almost twice.” And they were like, “Is that Black Snake Moan?” And I was like, “No, no. It’s Footloose.” When you started saying those things, you’re thinking, yeah, but it was Footloose. It was cheesy and fun. Sure it was, in places, but that movie was hard. There was some harshness to it that I specifically remember. I was 13 [when I saw it]; it shocked me. I think when Adam Goodman took over the studio, he was like, “I don’t want a cheery, Glee version of Footloose. I want what Footloose was.”
I know a lot of people are like, “The guy who did Hustle & Flow is doing Footloose?” But I think once they see my Footloose – and even when they see the original Footloose – they can kind of get it a little bit more. In my movies I’ve explored religion and family and music, and the thought of music as exorcism for the bad things in your head – I think that started with Kevin Bacon dancing away in a warehouse. That movie was in my heart; I knew every frame of it.
You take great care in this film to create a sympathetic portrait of the villain, played by Dennis Quaid. Was that a priority for you?
That was important to me. I didn’t want to necessarily demonize faith, either, because I felt that if we did that, it wouldn’t feel authentic to today. I mean, I’m sure there are extreme churches out there and everything, but most people when they go to church, they’re dealing with religious leaders that genuinely care about their community. They’re not just trying to be evil guy trying to keep people from dancing cause they’re worried that they’re going to hell. I didn’t want this movie to be about that. I didn’t want them thinking that the reason we’re stopping these kids is because it’s a sin to dance.
There’s a lot of merit in dancing being destructive. I’m 40 this year, and I remember Dirty Dancing coming out. It was around the time I was in high school, and everybody was dirty dancing. I remember: You got with your girlfriend, you faced her, you put your crotch up against her crotch, and you started grinding up and down. At least when we were doing that back in the day, I was looking at the girl in the eye, but now girls are rubbing their asses up at the crotches of boys, and it literally is what our grandparents said rock and roll was: It’s sex standing up. I look at that and I think, well, I’m sure that’s awesome and fun, but is there any sort of, like, damage that’s happening here? [Laughs] And that’s when I’m like, when did I become this guy who thinks like that? But now I do. If I saw my daughter doing that, I’d be like, “Wait a minute. Come here young lady, I need to have a talk with you.” That’s just because I’m a dad now.
Do you plan on doing Tarzan next?
I hope so. I just turned in the script and the studio’s reading it this weekend. We’ll see what they think.
Will it be a straightforward take on the character?
Sort of. It’s definitely of the era. It’s not like a modern take of it. There’s no hip-hop in it. [Laughs] I was very much into the books when I was younger and loved the movies. Something that Footloose taught me is that you have to make a new movie, but you also have to take into account the fans of the original. Well, Tarzan has got so many different types of fans. There’s people that loved the Disney movie. There’s the people that loved Greystoke. There’s the people that loved the Weissmuller black-and-whites. There’s the people that don’t like any of that; they like the books. There’s people that like the comic books. There’s a lot of people to please with that movie.
Yourself most of all, right?
Right. And I gotta say, I think I wrote the best script I’ve ever written on this Tarzan movie. I hope I’m able to do it.
Footloose opens everywhere tomorrow, October 14, 2011.
October 12, 2011 7:08am EST
Kenny Wormald worked as a professional dancer in Los Angeles for eight years before Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer plucked him from relative obscurity to play the angry-dancing, authority-defying protagonist in his Footloose remake, inheriting the role made famous by Kevin Bacon. Soon, drunken trivia hounds around the country will be engaged in feverish games of Six Degrees of Kenny Wormald. Admittedly, these games will be very, very short.
In an exclusive interview with Hollywood.com, Boston-bred Wormald spoke about his breakout role, his comely co-star, his obsessive director, and the Quaid factor.
Having worked primarily as a dancer, this has to be an eye-opening experience for you.
Yeah, it’s definitely different. Not only am I speaking now [laughs], but getting the weight of a project, good and bad, thrown at [me]. Cause it’s Footloose and a lot of people hold it very close to their hearts, so it’s like if this movie messes up, it’s kind of on my shoulders. But fortunately I had a great cast and an amazing director. I feel grateful for the people I was surrounded by, who allowed me to kind of do the best I possibly can.
Were you a fan of the original film?
I grew up dancing, so I’d seen that film a ton of times. I always reference that angry dance scene. It’s just one of those movies you always see as a kid, and still to this day. I think it was on VH1 yesterday. So it’s definitely been around in my life, and I absolutely loved it. So to get to remake it was surreal and also gratifying. When I heard there were other actors involved for the role of Ren, I was a bit jealous. I was like, “Damn, I could do that, man. Give me a chance.” So when the chance came, I just bee-lined it and worked really hard to get the role.
I was surprised to hear your director, Craig Brewer, cite the original Footloose as one of the formative films of his youth. What was it like working with him?
Working with Crag was incredible; I wouldn’t want to make anyone else’s Footloose other than his. He wasn’t just a guy going for a paycheck. It was a passion project for him, because he was obsessed with the original. When I say obsessed, I mean obsessed. He refers to himself as a "Footloose-ologist," because he knows it shot-for-shot, every word. He saw it first when he was 17 and fell in love with it. He was the best quarterback for this film. I tell the guy, “I’ll babysit your kids; I’ll wash your car. I’ll do whatever the hell you want for the rest of my life, because this experience has been unbelievable.”
You have a few different dance sequences in the film. Which was your favorite?
I think what’s cool about the dance sequences in this movie is that they’re all different. There’s about four different scenes with dancing in it, and they’re all very different. They’re all cool in their own way, but the angry dance is pretty iconic, so to get to do that was surreal. I think we tackled it in the right way. Craig found a great song for it, which helped. That’s how he pitched the film to Paramount: He went in there with a boombox and played the angry dance song, and it was kind of the core of his creativity. He was so passionate about it. I remember him pitching it to me after I was already booked, and I was getting chills just listening to him talk about it.
What was it like facing off with the great Dennis Quaid? That had to be a little intimidating.
I made it a point to not watch any Dennis Quaid movies once I booked it. Like all summer, if I saw one of his films [on TV], I was like, change [the channel], because I didn’t want to let that affect me. I already had enough intimidation where I felt like I could use it a bit, for my character to use it. When I first meet him, I need to feel a little bit smaller and less than him. And throughout the film I thought I could use that. But once you get to know the guy, the intimidation level goes down. He’s funny and cool and charming. It’s funny; one day after working, he taps me on the shoulder and goes, “It was great working with me, kid.” And I was like [mimes confusion], you just totally got me. He’s that cool guy that you hoped he would be.
Talk about working with Julianne Hough. She’s really blowing up.
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s great I got to work with her now, because she’s gonna be unstoppable for a while. I think both of us coming from a dance background was helpful. This movie’s pretty much on her and I, as far as our scenes and the story. We had each other’s backs. Craig was really supportive of us. He made a point to call me after I was booked to tell me, “You didn’t get this for your dancing; you got it for your acting.” And I think the same went for Julianne.
Do you plan on pursuing non-dancing roles? Has Footloose opened up new avenues for you?
Yeah. I’ve gotten into some rooms now that I couldn’t have begged or bought my way into. I read for Ron Howard not too long ago for The Dark Tower. Just getting into that room, to me, was a success. I know not a lot of guys got to read for him, so that was an honor. Things like that have changed for sure. So yeah, I plan on sticking around for a while and doing films that aren’t just dance movies. I’m attached to a movie now called Someone in the Dark, which is this really cool, badass sexy thriller. They’re finding the lead girl right now. I’m just so excited to be attached. There’s no dancing in the movie, and I’m proud of that. I think it says something about Craig Brewer and about our Footloose, because it’s not a typical dance movie. I’ve danced in some of those dance movies in the past decade; some of ‘em are weak in the plot. Fortunately we weren’t that way.
Footloose opens everywhere this Friday, October 14, 2011.
Click below for more images of Kenny Wormald:
August 12, 2011 11:29am EST
Remember when you used to wake up on Saturday mornings, throw an olive loaf on the deep fryer, and gather your extended family in the bomb shelter and watch Footloose? Well, things are about to get pretty familiar: the new trailer for the Footloose remake, starring Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough shows that this movie will be staying pretty faithful to the original. And not in the lame way! I would like to emphasize just how lame this movie isn't going to be. But the void of lameness cannot be properly emphasized by someone with my loose grasp of the English language. Watch the new trailer below. It's better than chocolate.
For more photos of Footloose star Julianne Hough, click the photo above.
June 08, 2011 5:00am EST
Brewer, who directed Timberlake in 2006 film Black Snake Moan, turned to the singer/actor for help when he needed to cast a budding star who could dance as Ren McCormack in the remake.
Timberlake recommended one of his former back-up dancers, Kenny Wormald.
Brewer tells HollyScoop.com, "It was important that we had a new and young and fresh face for Ren McCormack, that's who Kevin Bacon was back in the day, and we spent forever looking."
June 02, 2011 12:29pm EST
Craig Brewer -- the guy responsible for the Footloose remake and, as a result, probably accomplishing the impossible task of ruining Kevin Bacon forever -- just landed a deal to write and direct a new installment of Tarzan, because obviously that's exactly what the entertainment landscape needs right now: a remake of Tarzan.
Anyway, Deadline also reports that, in what almost sounds like a joke, Brewer's story will take three films to tell. Yes. Three. And beyond that, this isn't even the only Tarzan movie being written. Supposedly, screenwriter Adam Cozad is also working on a script, because apparently the natural progression of Hollywood films -- as we've learned over the past few years -- is vampires to zombies to men who are raised in the jungle and look like Brendan Fraser. Oh, what a world we live in.
June 22, 2010 12:15pm EST
The project has been delayed twice in recent months after the two top choices quit.
Thomas Dekker, the star of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, had been tipped to take over the lead role, but Paramount Pictures executives announced on Tuesday (22Jun10) that Wormald had landed the part.
The 25-year-old professional dancer has previously appeared on Jennifer Lopez's MTV reality show DanceLife and 2008 movie Center Stage 2: Turn it Up.
Actress Lori Singer is expected to return to make an appearance in the new Footloose, 17 years after she played Bacon's wildchild love interest Ariel in the 1984 film. Singer Julianna Hough is still tapped to play Ariel in the remake, which will be directed by Craig Brewer.
The movie is expected to hit movie theatres in April, 2011.