Bright young stars prepare to cut ‘Footloose’

Cut loose, students, because a new version of the 1984 dance flick “Footloose” is being released Friday in theaters nationwide.

Paramount Pictures, along with “Hustle and Flow” director Craig Brewer, took a classic film that made actors such as Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer and Chris Penn stars, and kept with that tradition by casting some fresh faces in these now iconic roles.

While this year’s “Footloose” provides a modern update to a well-liked film, it looks promising enough to stay true to the classic everyone loves.Scene & Heard looks at the talent changes made between the two versions.

Kenny Wormwald replaces Kevin Bacon as Ren McCormack

Actor Kenny Wormald plays Ren McCormack, a rebellious urbanite who moves to a small town where dancing is banned after tragedy strikes the town following a school dance. This 27-year-old actor is set to be one of the breakout stars from 2011’s “Footloose,” and while this may only be his second leading role, it isn’t the first dance film he’s been in.

Wormald only has a brief acting history, but it contains popular dance films such as “Center Stage: Turn it Up” and “You Got Served,” proving his experienced feet may be able to fill Kevin Bacon’s shoes after all.

Julianne Hough replaces Lori Singer as Ariel Moore

From a winning streak on the hit reality show “Dancing with the Stars” to having her own chart-topping country album, Hough is no stranger to the entertainment business. Though Hough’s role as Ariel Moore, the reverend’s no-nonsense daughter, is her first on the silver screen. Hough said it was her winning streak on “Dancing With The Stars” that helped her land the role of Ariel Moore.

“I owe basically everything I have to being on ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” Hough said in an interview with The Oracle. “I think that the exposure that I got and the fan base that has been so amazing and followed me from day one there to… my music and my acting now, yes, I definitely would not be [here] today without that show.”

Miles Teller replaces Chris Penn as WillardHewitt

Miles Teller’s acting career has started off on a promising note, with roles in upcoming comedies such as “Project X” and “21 and Over,” though he may still be best remembered for his role in the acclaimed 2010 film “Rabbit Hole,” alongside talent such as Aaron Eckhart and Nicole Kidman. In a March interview with The Oracle, Teller said he had previously played the role of Willard in his high school’s production of “Footloose,” so things have come full circle for the actor with his first major film.

Teller also commented on the low expectations audiences have of the film, simply saying, “[Craig] Brewer will give the film a little more street credit. I know that the expectations are really low for this movie… I’d rather surprise people than disappoint people.”

Dennis Quaid replaces John Lithgow as Rev. Shaw Moore

Probably the most recognizable face of the new ensemble, Dennis Quaid has made an impression on both audiences and the box office alike with hit films such as “Yours, Mine, and Ours,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “The Rookie.” As the new Rev. Shaw Moore, Quaid may be able to make a noticeable impact on audiences in line with what actor John Lithgow did in the original, reaching a younger audience while possibly rising to an even higher level of popularity.

Craig Brewer replaces Herbert Ross as director

Similar to original “Footloose” director Herbert Ross, Craig Brewer doesn’t have a history with dance films. Yet, unlike Ross, he does have a knack for tuning up a film’s soundtrack and setting the action onscreen against pulsating rhythms and vibrant colors.

From the Southern-tinged hip-hop stomp of Academy Award-winning “Hustle & Flow” to the Mississippi blues of “Black Snake Moan,” Brewer knows how to meld the very best elements of music and film, and that’s what “Footloose” is all about.