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Brewer, ‘Footloose’ must fill dance card

Par project back on track but still needs new lead

Paramount’s redo of “Footloose” is back on course, with Craig Brewer set to direct the high-profile project from his rewritten script.

However, Brewer will have to find a new lead now that Chace Crawford is exiting the project due to scheduling conflicts with the CW’s “Gossip Girl.”

Par insiders said Monday that casting will commence immediately. The studio intends for Brewer to begin lensing this summer.

Last fall, the film’s fate was thrown into question when Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical”) ankled as director, just five months before production was to start, over creative differences and budget.

Newly installed Par prexy of production Adam Goodman wanted an edgier tone than was originally planned for the redux. He and Brewer intend to stick much closer to the feel of the original film — a drama — instead of focusing on elaborate musical numbers.

Brewer caught the eye of studio creative execs with indie pic “Hustle & Flow,” which he wrote and directed. Upcoming projects include action-comedy “Mother Trucker” for New Regency. “Footloose” is his next project.

Producers of “Footloose” are Brad Weston, Craig Zadan, Neil Meron and Dylan Sellers.

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