Paramount finds its ‘Footloose’ man

Kenny Wormald to star in Craig Brewer's remake

Tuesday’s announcement that Craig Brewer’s “Footloose” will open in theaters April 1, 2011 underscores how much of a priority the remake is to Paramount Pictures — and Par Film Group Prexy Adam Goodman in particular.

Following a worldwide casting search, Goodman also announced studio has found its lead in 25-year-old dancer Kenny Wormald, a newcomer to the bigscreen who is best known for his appearances in the MTV series “Dancelife.” A Boston native, Wormald recently toured with Justin Timberlake.

Wormald will play the role of Ren, a part made famous by Kevin Bacon, and will star opposite Julianne Hough, whose casting was previously announced. Dennis Quaid also stars.

Craig Zadan, a producer on the original “Footloose,” is joining longtime partner Neil Meron (“Chicago”) to produce the remake, alongside Brad Weston and Dylan Sellers (“Agent Cody Bank”).

Last fall, the fate of “Footloose” was thrown into serious question when Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical”) exited the remake over creative differences. Ortega envisioned a film that would appeal to a younger set, with Zac Efron set to star. However, Goodman wanted the redux to be closer to the original film in tone and feel. “I saw ‘Footloose’ in my hometown theater when I was 13-years-old and it rocked my world,” Brewer said.