Kenny Wormald Lands Lead In 'Footloose' Remake

Hollywood newcomer and MTV 'Dancelife' alum snatches plum role after Zac Efron and Chace Crawford back out.

A rising star with true dancing feet will step into the role of Ren McCormack in the upcoming remake of the '80s hit "Footloose." Dancer Kenny Wormald, who has appeared in videos for stars like Madonna and Prince and has hit the stage with Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez, will bring his footwork to the big screen.

Entertainment Weekly reports that the Boston native (who proudly touts his "Southie" accent in his MTV "Dancelife" bio) beat out thousands for the chance to take on the role that launched Kevin Bacon's career in the '80s. However, this isn't Wormald's first Hollywood gig: The dancer has also appeared in "You Got Served" and "Clerks 2."

Joining Wormald in the flick will be actor Dennis Quaid as Reverend Moore and Julianne Hough from "Dancing With the Stars" as Ariel. "Hustle & Flow" writer Craig Brewer penned the updated screenplay and will also direct. The choreography will be helmed by Jamal Sims, who worked on Madonna's Sticky & Sweet Tour.

Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron, who has hoofed his way to stardom in musicals like "Hairspray" and "High School Musical," was originally slated for the role as Ren McCormack but later backed out. Reports said the star wanted to take on more serious roles. Chace Crawford also dropped out of the remake because filming would have conflicted with his "Gossip Girl" production schedule.

Filmmakers already have high hopes for Wormald. "When we discovered Kevin Bacon in 1984, we were both excited and gratified -- and also knew the chances of ever duplicating that effort was a million-to-one shot," producer Craig Zadan, who worked on the original and is back for the remake, said in a statement. "Decades later, Kenny Wormald proved history could repeat itself."

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