By Nicole Sperling
Updated June 22, 2010 at 05:22 PM EDT

Paramount Pictures has found their Ren McCormack — and he’s no one you’ve ever heard of. Newcomer Kenny Wormald won the role after auditioning against thousands of other hopefuls in a worldwide search. Wormald, a Boston native, appeared in the MTV series Dancelife and recently toured with Justin Timberlake. He will join Dancing with the Stars alum Julianne Hough, who will play Ariel, and Dennis Quaid, who joins the cast in the role of Reverend Moore. Writer/director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) will helm the project that he rewrote after Zac Efron and director Kenny Ortega dropped out of the famed 1980s remake last year.

This could be a star-making role for Wormald, as Ren McCormack was for Kevin Bacon back in 1984. Veteran producer Craig Zadan, who produced the original, will also produce the remake. The movie will feature choreography from Jamal Sims, who most recently worked with Madonna on her Sticky & Sweet tour, and will next work for Neil Patrick Harris on his production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl.

Says Brewer, “I can promise Footloose fans that I will be true to the spirit of the original film. But I still gotta put my own Southern grit into it and kick it into 2011.”

Paramount has set April 1, 2011 for the film’s release. Production is set to begin in August.