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The Footloose Remake: Dump Efron, Get Corbin Bleu!

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I am a child of the 1980s and watched most of the popular films of the time. Some of them would unfortunately be considered cheesy. 1984’s Footloose, which helped launch Kevin Bacon into stardom, was no exception.

Zac Efron is going to get the chance to fill Bacon’s shoes with a fast-tracked remake of the film. I give him props. He’s young, he’s got girls going nuts over him and he’s likely to bring an audience of High School Musical fans over to see the remake once it hits theaters. The problem, for those of us still tapping to the soundtrack in our MP3 players, is that it was Kevin Bacon’s movie.

Bacon was able to look good and look dirty. Zac Efron just looks good. If they were thinking about casting for the remake, Corbin Bleu would have been a better choice. He can act, sing, and dance circles around Efron and is more of a real person on screen.

But Bleu, being a black man in a franchise largely marketed towards white audiences, wouldn’t fit. If he were to be in the movie it would have to be like the HSM movies: Bleu plays a rather useless character while Efron’s character gets all the glory. For good and even more insulting measure the studio would probably throw in Monique Coleman and put in the equally useless part of Rusty (which Sarah Jessica Parker played in the original).

Another part of the problem with remaking Footloose lies in the fact that it is not really a true musical. High School Musical has characters singing within the scenes; Footloose largely has the songs in the background to push the scenes. Unless Efron's acting has improved beyond HSM, he's going to have to put a lot of work in. You wouldn't have this problem with The Bleu. This is something HSM musical director Kenny Ortega, who will direct the remake, must understand and get with.

Even though it hasn't been said that the characters will sing, I just get this bad image in my head that frightens me.

I see in my nightmares Zac Efron singing through his frustrations in the infamous warehouse scene in the original. I see Vanessa Hudgens with Efron in the remake singing "Almost Paradise" before kissing each other. I see the entire cast doing a big number at the end to "Footloose."

Dear God… the horror… the horror!

The way I generally feel about it comes down to one thing. It all comes down to who they cast as the lead. They are never going to get the quality music of the original down, nor are going to have any better a plot than the original without making the cheesy plot of the original worse. Get The Bleu and you’ll have a hit.

I’m sure The Bacon would agree with me, but apparently even he thinks Efron can do it.

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About Matthew Milam

  • MayLA2121

    I completely agree with you. I for the life of me cannot understand why someone of Efron’s manner could fill the role that Kevin Bacon played to a to a tee. I am a lover of Footloose and when I heard they were remaking it I knew it would never be the same, maybe. Hearing Efron was going to be in it, I knew that was going to become a fact of reality. Corbin Bleu has much more life and presence in him and could really take this remake places. Efron’s only gonna take it to the garbage dump. I can’t believe Kevin could agree with Efron filling his shoes. Bleu has got the chops to fulfil a legacy that Kevin Bacon reigned on since we started tapping out feet to Footloose. Corbin Bleu could make this remake a good one, though it couldn’t match that of the original, I’m sure with his talent he could make it come close. I’ll put it simply:

    The Bleu has the chops, The Efron has the flops.

  • Jamie78

    I wholeheartedly agree!!! Corbin Bleu would be an EXCELLENT choice for this role. I think Bleu has a hugh career ahead of him, and soon he will be recognized for the magnificent actor and dancer that he truly is! I so wish Corbin was doing Footloose. He already performed Footloose at the Los Angeles school for the Arts!!

  • For Real

    From all I’ve heard, this is NOT going to be a musical. And, I’m pretty sure Zac has honed his acting skills in “17 Again” and the highly acclaimed “Me and Orson Welles,” for which he received excellent reviews. It’s really sad that you only know this young man for the HSM movies and typecast him. FYI, he was nominated for a best actor award for his role in Miracle Run when he was only 16.

  • Fidget

    Being the HUGE Corbin Bleu fan that I am (28 years old and still scan the teen mags just to find articles with him in them… too few though!) I’m gonna hate saying this.

    Zac will be the better choice for this role. having seen HSM3 and being forced to admit that the entire crew has pushed themselves to the limit and discovered higher plateus of talent. I even enjoyed Efron’s solo piece. It’s blatantly obvious that the overwhelmingly talented Mr. Bleu can dance circles around them ALL, and he doesn’t get near enough screen time or accolades for what a wonderfuly real actor he is on screen.

    However, the remake isn’t about finding the best dancer. And Zac can do dirty… easily. He isn’t pretty to begin with (kinda reminds me of a turtle in the face)- he has the trailer trash edge that Bacon did in the original (which btw was one of my favorites growing up, and the reason why i LOVE to dance so much.) He’s learned alot of new moves from the last HSM and should the actual screen play do the original justice, I think Zac will fill Kevin’s shoes just fine…

    I would love to see Bleu in it. But I would rather see Zac do a remake, and see Bleu doing his own thing, making new movies that carve his place in the world. I’d prefer to never see Bleu remake anything. Unless it’s on stage in a clasic Broadway piece.

    Thanks however for taking the time to blog about the quality of Bleu vs. Efron. I’m noticing a trend of Zac and Vanessa getting way too much credit and attention. They did a wonderful job, but the actor’s that played the supportive characters are what kicked the movie into being watchable.

  • Madison

    Bleu is definitely the better dancer, but not necessarily the better actor. As an actor I enjoy Efron more. He’s very charismatic, and his acting has improved dramatically since last year. He doesn’t have to emulate Bacon. I think Efron will creat his own (but not very different from the original) version of Ren. I was against the idea of remaking Footloose, but after watching HSM3 I’d say I’m excited to see Efron in the remake.

  • Deb

    They should have Derek Hough from Dancing with the Stars do this movie. He played the lead in Footloose in London’s West End in 2006 to RAVE reviews from the London film critics. He can act, he can sing (just got signed to a record deal with Hollywood Records) and is the best dancer on the planet. He has 20 million fans that watch him on tv every week and would be soo much better than Zac Efron.

  • Lane

    If the movie is based on the stage show, then I agree with Deb. Derek Hough would have been a great choice. I saw him play Ren in the West End and he was fantastic. He brought so much energy to the show. It wasn’t the same without him.

  • Liesel

    I agree they should get Derek Hough for this. There isn’t a better dancer out there. He is so amazing. There was a recent LA Times article comparing him to Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, and they were so right. He has that same presence and charisma. He also has a great voice and can act. He got rave reviews for playing the part in the West End. Please get Derek!

  • janet

    Corbin Bleu as Ren would be PERFECT.

    I think one of the big reasons this Dance musical has had such a hard time getting off the ground THESE DAYS is because it is ALL WHITE. I dont think that… is really acceptable in dance musicals now. But they cant figure out how to change it.

    But… if you just put Corbin in (who is part black by the way) it would fix ALL of the problems as far as I can tell. Or any young mixed race singer dancer male as far as that goes. He’s from Chicago for petes sake I think you can easily go with a mixed race Ren. His mothers still white.

    Anyway. I think thats an excellent Idea. THAT remake I would definitely go see.

  • Bam Shizzlin Ninja

    I couldn’t agree with you more! Corbin is most definitely the best choice, he’s more then a triple threat; he can sing, dance, act, play piano, and he’s also a producer.

    When Zac is acting, you can TELL he’s acting. Great actors, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, make you believe that they are their character, as does Corbin.

    Corbin also learns at lightning speed. At the beginning of HSM he couldn’t play basketball to save his life, now he can spin the ball on his finger and play on camera like he’s been doing it all his life.

    Also, no question that Corbin is a better dancer. Zac may learn some dances fo ra movie, but when you put the two side by side, you can tell that Corbin isn’t just going through the movements, he’s feeling it and loving every minute of it. As a dancer, that is truly what makes a great dancer great.

    While Corbin would be the best choice, I’m glad he isn’t doing it. He shouldn’t remake anything. He should continue his originality. Do his own thang, we all know he’s so good at it 😉

  • Lisa

    I 100% agree!!!!!!!!! I am honestly shocked that Drew Seeley (from Another Cinderella Story) is not being considered for this role. He can outperform Zac in so many ways. Didn’t Drew have to sing some of Zac’s songs in the first High School Musical movie? I think they are passing up some real talent. Zac would just ruin the movie with overacting.

  • Mayla

    Thank God somebody sees my vision. Corbin Bleu is just incredible. The voice, the moves, the personality…everything! He is just incredible. Zac Efron has nothing on him. All Zac Efron is, is a pretty face. Corbin Bleu is so much more grown up looking and mature. He was born to perform. He is just a born entertainer. Then again, it is being directed by Kenny Ortega, who lives to kiss Zac Efron’s butt. Corbin doesn’t get his fair share of the pie. Ever.

  • ahh

    derak hough all the way.
    saw him on the westend and was so amazing i actually love him.
    derek hough :) please x