Gossip Girl‘s Chace Crawford is about to get Footloose on the big screen
Chace Crawford is ready to follow the fancy footwork of Kevin Bacon when he begins shooting Paramount’s reboot of the 1984 dance classic Footloose next March. The 23-year-old Gossip Girl star, who landed the lead after Zac Efron dropped out, wasn’t even born when the original premiered. So is this just an elaborate ruse to win at Six Degrees? Jokes Crawford, ”I want my number to be up — my Bacon number.” Crawford won the part after a brutal audition, including dancing and singing, for producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Hairspray) and director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical). ”It was, like, five hours of the most rigorous tests ever,” says Crawford. ”I walked out very confident.” He had a right to be, according to Zadan: ”At the end of it, we all sort of looked at each other and said, ‘He’s the guy!”’ Crawford may soon have his onscreen dance partner. A Paramount spokesperson confirmed to EW that Dancing With the Stars‘ Julianne Hough will screen-test this week.
The new Footloose, which recently got a rewrite from Erin Brockovich‘s Susannah Grant, will pay homage to the first film — the setting will still be a dance-free town, and the original cast could pop up in cameos. Also expect to hear familiar tunes like the title track. ”The classic hit songs from the movie will be sung,” says Zadan, who was also a producer on the 1984 version. ”There will be new songs that will be written by new artists, and those will be soundtrack songs.” Explains Meron, ”It’s not really a burst-into-song musical. Any songs that are sung are coming out of an organic place.” One thing that may not reappear is some of the more elaborate choreography. ”I don’t know if the gymnastics [high bar] scene is going to make it,” says Crawford, who’s about to embark on an Ortega-plotted training regimen. ”I’ve got some movement in me, but I’m not a dancer,” he admits. ”I need to start stretching now.” — Tim Stack, with additional reporting by Nicole Sperling
Big-name producers strike out
Now that the networks have announced their fall schedules, it’s clear that having a stellar record as a hitmaker doesn’t guarantee you a spot. Among the pilots that didn’t make the cut: NBC’s Legally Mad, a law drama from David E. Kelley (Boston Legal), starring Kristin Chenoweth; CBS’ A Marriage, a relationship drama from Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (thirtysomething), starring Bruce Greenwood and Miranda Otto; and ABC’s Inside the Box, a drama about a network-news bureau from Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy), starring Kim Raver. Rhimes will get a chance to retool her script, but no such luck for either Legally Mad or A Marriage. — Lynette Rice