With the Oscar-winning and box-office success of ''Chicago,'' producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have become the go-to guys for musicals on film. They recently brought the classic ''The Music Man'' to TV, they're working on a film version of the classic ''Guys and Dolls'' for Miramax, and now, Variety reports, Paramount has signed them to remake the 1984 film ''Footloose.'' (We'll let you decide whether that's a classic that belongs in the same breath with the other three.)
The new movie will be an update of the Kevin Bacon movie, not the Broadway musical it spawned in 1998, though Dean Pitchford, who wrote the original movie and its song lyrics as well as adapting his screenplay into the Broadway show, will pitch in again as executive producer and will write four more songs. (Some of the original tunes, including the title song and ''Let's Hear It for the Boy,'' will stay.) Unlike the original movie, the characters will sing this time; as with ''Chicago,'' the filmmakers are looking for actors willing to warble and hoof on camera. ''This is going to have a more experimental feel and will be closer in tone to 'Moulin Rouge' than 'Chicago,"' said Zadan, whose producing career began in 1984 with the original movie. Let's just hope that no one dies of tuberculosis in the new version.