Footloose Grabs An Unknown Lead

Dancer Kenny Wormald wins the role

It’s been a long, slow dance to the screen for Paramount’s new version of Footloose. Actors and directors have come aboard and been shuffled offstage almost as quickly, but now the lengthy search for a new leading man appears to have ended with a fresh face: dancer Kenny Wormald has won the role.

We know you were all on tenterhooks as the studio scoured the US for someone to take over Kevin Bacon’s role as Ren in the remake, and now, according to Deadline, Wormald is it.

While he’s largely appeared as a dancer on screen in films and, more notably music videos (you might have seen his work in Clerks 2 or Center Stage: Turn It Up), Footloose should be his big break.

The role was originally handed to Zac Efron, who dropped out for fear of musical typecasting. That version also lost High School Musical director Kenny Ortega. Following them, Gossip Girl actor Chace Crawford stepped in, but he also scarpered when the film hit scheduling issues.

Now, though, Craig Brewer is directing, Julianne Hough is playing Ariel, the leading lady seduced into a world of freedom and dancing in a repressive town, and if Deadline’s sources are accurate, Dennis Quaid is signing on as her father, the strict, music-loathing Reverend Moore.

With a lead finally tracked down, Brewer can finally start shooting the thing, which will waltz into cinemas next year.