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Will 'Footloose' hit the Dekker?

May 27, 2010 |  2:42 pm

EXCLUSIVE: There's been almost as much song-and-dance over the casting for the new "Footloose" as there is in the movie itself.

With "Gossip Girl" star Chace Crawford out, the search is on once again for the lead role, with one name emerging as a top candidate: Thomas Dekker.

The 22-year-old actor, who came to prominence on both "Heroes" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," has been making a nice film run lately. He most recently starred both in the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" remake and is coming off a strong showing in the well-received Cannes movie "Kaboom." (Plus he's got the "Footloose"-ready hair.)

Dekker would be taking on the role of Ren McCormack, a part first pioneered by Kevin Bacon as the dance-happy outsider who shakes up a conservative small town. Zac Efron had previously been attached but dropped out when he decided to go in a less musical direction in his career.

Crawford was an appealing choice given his growing appeal among teens, but as a TV star, his commitments are numerous, and Paramount wants to get going on the movie. With both actor and director shifts (Craig Brewer has come on to replace Kenny Ortega behind the camera), the film's already pushed back its start date from the spring. Dekker may be a way to keep the music playing.

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Thomas Dekker at the "Kaboom" premiere. Credit: Valery Hache / AFP/Getty Images

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