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Efron quit ‘Footloose’ to pursue ‘the unknown’

With his success in three “High School Musical” movies, Zac Efron appeared to be the perfect actor for the remake of the ’80s toe-tappin’ film “Footloose.” But the young star says he’s headed in a different direction — an “unknown” direction.
/ Source: Access Hollywood

With his success in three “High School Musical” movies, Zac Efron appeared to be the perfect actor for the remake of the ’80s toe-tappin’ film “Footloose.” But the young star says he’s headed in a different direction — an “unknown” direction.

“I’m sure ‘Footloose’ would have been a huge challenge,” Efron told Entertainment Weekly Thursday in Las Vegas, where he’s receiving the ShoWest Breakthrough Performer of the Year award. “But, the actors that I love and the actors that work really hard in this industry are always shaking things up, trying new genres, acquiring new skill sets. That’s what’s always going to appeal to me: the unknown.”

Following the news last month that Efron pulled out of the project, a representative for Paramount told Access Hollywood that the remake will move forward without the actor.

“‘Footloose’ is a project we’ve longed to see re-booted for a new generation. While Zac is no longer attached, we remain excited and committed to the collective brain trust of Kenny Ortega, Neil Meron and Craig Zaden, who will reinvigorate the franchise,” a rep for the studio said in a statement released to Access. “Their fresh take on the film will undoubtedly be filled with the same kind of breakout performances that we’ve come to expect from them.”

One of the heartthrobs who may replace Efron is “Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford, who reportedly auditioned for the role last week, according to E! Online’s Marc Malkin.

Efron will next be seen on the big screen in “17 Again,” on April 17, and is in talks to star in “The Death & Life of Charlie St. Cloud,” where he would reunite with “17” director Burr Steers.