So far, fans of the 1984 fight-for-your-right-to-dance classic 'Footloose' are approaching the upcoming remake with cautious curiosity. The story remains the same: City boy Ren McCormack moves to a small, rural town where dancing and rock music have been banned; he meets a beautiful girl, teaches the kids how to dance and gets the whole town to party. But how much of the original's spirit will be preserved in the 2011 version?
The just-released information on the remake's soundtrack reveals that many of the songs from the 80s classic have been updated for a modern audience: Ella Mae Bowen performs 'Holding Out for a Hero,' Jana Kramer covers 'Let's Hear It for the Boy' and country superstar Blake Shelton offers his take on the title track originally brought to life by Kenny Loggins. But there is one track -- central to the film -- that doesn't appear on the soundtrack. That's the song Ren McCormack punch-dances to all by himself in an abandoned factory, in one of the great frustration-venting scenes in pop-cinema history.
Moviefone discovered the identity of that song -- and much more -- in an exclusive interview with the new Ren McCormack, Kenny Wormald.
Moviefone: What has your training regimen been like for 'Footloose'?
Kenny Wormald: I've been dancing forever, so the dance stuff came pretty naturally to me. We had a ton of rehearsals and a ton of sweating and a ton of hours just working on all the scenes with the dancing in it.
I'd say the most grueling preparation was for the angry dance -- that's the big scene in the factory where I vent all my anger out through dance and there's a badass rock song playing. That was the most grueling and challenging, because it was just me the whole time and there were elements in there that were not just dance but jumping over things, running around. It was very athletic.
I'm glad to hear that's being kept for the new movie because the warehouse scene is probably one of the most memorable moments of the original.
That was kind of the focal point when Craig Brewer brought this new version to Paramount; he really focused on the angry dance. He was such a big fan of the original, and his love for it was infectious on set. We all just wanted to kill the whole movie, but especially that scene.
So what does Ren McCormack punch-dance to when he needs to left off some steam in the year 2011?
The song that I dance to in the film is by The White Stripes and it's called 'Catch Hell Blues.' I don't want to give away too much, but that's the kind of music you vent to. I think [Craig] found the perfect song. It's relatable and I think you understand through the song how much anger and how much venting the character is going through. You look for that crazy rock, strong drums and strong percussion. 'Catch Hell Blues' is exactly that song.
How are you guys planning to top Kenny Loggins and the original 'Let's Hear it for the Boy' and 'Holding Out for a Hero'?
Well the thing about Craig Brewer is he's such a musical guy, his musicality is pretty perfect. He made some great decisions on using the older songs and remixing some of the older songs for this version. And then there's some completely new music. I don't think you can really top the soundtrack and were not trying to beat it by any means; we're trying to celebrate it.
Craig Brewer is not exactly the first name you'd think of when tackling a 'Footloose' remake; what kind of element does he bring to the movie?
His Southern grit is definitely a great call for 'Footloose.' The original one was filmed in Utah, but this one is filmed in the South, and you feel like you're in the South. He was in love with the original one and he stayed true to the original, but he sprinkled his Southern grittiness all over this film. Not only in the music but also in the picture and in the vibe and in the other people on screen.
The search for the new Ren McCormack had been going on for a while. At one point Zac Efron had the part, at another point it was going to be Chace Crawford. What do you bring to the table that Efron and Crawford don't?
Those guys are very successful in what they do and I think they are going to continue to kick ass, so I think the fact that a new guy got to come in and make some noise is a great cool thing -- and obviously it's me, so that's why I think that. When I heard those guys were in it, I thought it was cool and I was very excited to see what 'Footloose' was going to bring, but as a dancer I'm very honored and happy that they went with someone that could dance. You didn't need any doubles for me when I was dancing.
When was the first time you saw the original 'Footloose'?
I saw the original when I was about 10 years old; I didn't see the original in theaters because I was born in 1984.
What kind of advice have you sought from the original Ren McCormack, Kevin Bacon?
I actually haven't spoken to him or met him at all. I look forward to the day in which that happens. I loved him in the original -- I think everyone did. It was such an iconic role, and he just absolutely killed it. I just hope that he enjoys this new version and we get his praise.
Besides 'Footloose,' what other iconic dance movies are you a fan of?
When I first started dancing, tap dancing was a big aspect of my life, so all the old movies with with Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were awesome. The first dance movie I got to be in was called 'You Got Served'; I can remember watching it on the big screen for the first time just blown away. It's pretty crazy because I've gotten the opportunity to be in those next-generation movies that kids are going to see now and hopefully get inspired the same way I did by all those old films.
So how are you expecting your life to be different after the movie comes out?
I don't know if you can expect anything. I'm just kind of going for the ride. I feel the trailer is just a small little taste of how cool this film is and I'm just excited for everyone to see it and I'm excited for all my girlfriends from junior high to call me.
Are you looking to make them jealous?
No, no... maybe a little.
'Footloose' arrives in theaters on Oct. 14.