Movies & TV

FOOTLOOSE For A New Generation AND A Chat With Director Craig Brewer

This is our time.

Footloose Movie

Our time, our generation now gets to experience Footloose, reinvented. In a re-imagining of the classic 1984 film, starring Kevin Bacon, this film follows the original story: a fatal crash involving teens leaves the small town of Bomont devastated and more determined than ever to lay down the law, even going so far as to ban minors from dancing.

Then city boy Ren McCormack (Kenny Wormald) moves into town, enlisting the help of the preacher’s rebellious daughter Ariel Moore (Julianne Hough) in order to change the rules for everyone.

Footloose Movie

Here’s the run down:

Drama: Oh yeah. From overprotective parents, to rebellious teenagers, to smooth city boys and bring-it-on cowboys, this film has definitely got its share of dramatic conflicts.

Romance: Of course! Ren and Ariel light up the screen from beginning to end.

Dance: Definitely the highlight of the film. The wide variety of dance sequencces give everyone a chance to see their favourite style on the big screen. You might just fall in love with country line dancing–I know I did!

Footloose Movie


1) Commentary with director Craig Brewer

2) Jump back: a featurette on the process of re-imagining the classic film (including comparison clips from the 1984 and 2011 versions, as well as a look at differences/similarities in costume, script, music and casting)

3) Deleted scenes

4) Music videos from the new version of “Footloose” by Blake Sheldon and more

5) Footloose rap: this video is kind of neat; a young girl posted a video of her rap, summarizing the 1984 movie and director Craig Brewer invited her to perform it at one of the film’s early screenings

6) Cut loose: focus on the stars of the film

7) Dancing with the Footloose stars: an in-depth look at different styles of dance featured in the film (country line dancing, hip hop, rock and–my favourite–the evolution of Willard as this country bumpkin learns to boogie)

Meet Footloose director Craig Brewer

Footloose Director Craig Brewer

Faze caught up with director Craig Brewer to chat about the balancing act of bringing new life to an old classic, while maintaining the integrity of the original 1984 film.

What attracted you to the idea of remaking the classic Footloose?

CB: [The studio] really challenged me to come up with another movie that had the same ideals and gave me the same feeling. [I had to think] is there a movie that is like that today for thirteen year olds?

And I couldn’t really think of any, I mean, I could think of dance movies, but I couldn’t really think of a movie that made kids today feel like they could stand up for themselves, that they could be welcomed as part of a community that may have thought of them as an outsider. And that’s when I realized that maybe Footloose has some relevance today, that maybe we needed to return to that story line and introduce it to a whole new audience.

What did you really want to maintain about the original story?

CB: There were two things that I specifically wanted to hold on to: one was that there was something really special about the friendship between Ren and Willard. I think that everybody is always talking about whether the chemistry was going to work between Ren and Ariel, but really, for me, it was all about “Well, what about those two guys: Ren and Willard?”

And then the second thing that I wanted to do was, there was something about the first movie that made the dance sequences seem more of a celebration of youth and of life and not so much craft; it wasn’t like I was watching ultra-professional dancers that look like they’ve been dancing for ten years. You know, you’re looking at kind of a nerdy kid break dancing; you’re looking at more of a heavy set woman spinning–and she looks gorgeous and beautiful–and everybody was laughing and having a good time. To me, I wanted to make sure that my cast and the dancers reflected that.

You definitely did a great job with the character of Willard; I totally fell in love with him–he’s adorable!

CB: I think Chris Penn [original actor of Willard] would’ve been proud (laughs). I think Miles Teller really nailed Willard, really got his part right.

What did you want to focus on in terms of re imagining the movie?

CB: Oh, there’s two things really: the first being that I wanted to give some context to where the parents were coming from. I think it was important to give the parents a little bit more perspective. . I think the audiences could be a little bit more understanding of them.

The second thing I wanted to change is, I never quite liked Ren coming into town and living with his uncle and aunt, but they weren’t really supportive of him. In my Footloose, I had it take place in the South. Speaking from my own story, you know, I always felt like even though maybe some of my family members may have looked on me as being a little weird for some of the music that I would listen to and the way I dressed, they would have laid their life down for me; I was their family, I was their blood, and they would have been protective of me.

What was your favourite scene to film?

CB: There’s been a few but I have to say that probably my favourite would be what we call the angry dance, where Ren MacCormak is kind of going crazy and dancing all by himself in this warehouse.

I remember the first time I saw that back in ’84, just blew my mind, you know; here’s this guy just blaring music and swinging from chains and we really wanted to nail that scene. We kept it ‘til the last couple of weeks of shooting.

We always made a joke to Kenny: we put it at the end here in case we killed you… (laughs) Which wasn’t completely true, but it was a really great time where it felt like the three of us [myself, Kenny and Jamal Sims, the choreographer]–there were no other actors or anybody, it was just the three of us trying our best to make that scene work.

FOOTLOOSE is out on Blu-ray and DVD. Check it out!

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