kenny ortega drops out of footloose

I guess High School Musical and This it It director Kenny Ortega didn’t want to get “footloose” with Paramount’s remake of the popular eighties film. According to Variety, Ortega has opted out of his directing duties for Footloose citing the infamous “creative differences. With a cast already in place, what’s a studio to do?

Ortega’s camp released an official statement regarding the director’s decision to leave the film.

“Coming off the extraordinary project, Michael Jackson’s This is It, director Kenny Ortega has decided it is premature for him to commit to his next film and will not be moving forward with ‘Footloose’ as previously reported.”

The cast for Footloose currently includes Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford and Dancing With the Stars vet Julianne Hough. The original film was released 25 years ago and was a star-making turn for Kevin Bacon who portrayed a city kid who moves to a conservative town and rebels against its no-dance law.

Sources close to the Footloose camp suggest Ortega’s real reason for leaving was due to the budget and vision for the film. He wanted a large scale musical production with a 30 million dollar price tag, while the studio wanted to venture away from the dance numbers and concentrate on making it an edgy drama for 25 mill.

If that is the real reason Ortega left the film, then I agree with him wholeheartedly. Yes, Footloose has some darker undertones with religious oppression, but it’s mostly about the passion of dance. How can you mute that part of the film and expect it to be true to the original? I don’t even want this movie to happen, but if they do it, do it right. Kevin Bacon and his gymnast stunt double deserve that much.

What do you think about Kenny Ortega leaving the Footloose remake?