Looks like Chace Crawford won’t be filling Kevin Bacon’s shoes after all in the remake of the iconic 1984 movie Footloose. Crawford’s rep has confirmed that the Gossip Girl hottie has backed out of the dance-loving lead in the remake. Sources tell EW.com that the studio is now likely to cast an unknown, possibly launching a nationwide search for the role. (Previously, Zac Efron was attached to the role but dropped out to avoid being typecast as the musicals guy.)
Paramount declined to comment but one source tells EW.com that the culprit this time is Gossip Girl‘s shooting schedule. The frothy CW show is scheduled to resume production in July, but Paramount is hoping to get Footloose into production sometime this summer, and Crawford can’t do both at once.
Although Crawford signed on to the film about a year ago, almost everything else about the project has changed since then. About five months after Crawford joined the cast, director Kenny Ortega dropped off the film, saying he was “exhausted” from his frenetic work on the Michael Jackson concert film This is It. Once that happened, the studio abandoned its most recent rewrite from Erin Brockovich screenwriter Susannah Grant. Writer/director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) penned a rewrite. Brewer’s redo, which some say is closer to the original film — about a town that’s outlawed dance and music — has been fully embraced by Paramount chief Adam Goodman. Sources say Goodman and Co. would like Brewer to direct the film, but Brewer is already committed to helm Mother Trucker for New Regency. Meanwhile, Dancing With the Stars alum Julianne Hough is still lined up to portray the lead character’s love interest, portrayed in the original by Lori Singer.