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Page last updated at 08:32 GMT, Thursday, 9 October 2008 09:32 UK
High School star 'in 80s remake'
By Natalie Jamieson
Newsbeat entertainment reporter

Kenny Ortega
Kenny Ortega is enthusiastic about re-making the 80s musical

The director of the High School Musical films has said he is hoping to remake 1980s musical Footloose.

Kenny Ortega told Newsbeat he's been "invited to re-imagine Footloose for Paramount next year".

He also revealed that High School Musical heart-throb Zac Efron is likely to be the star, calling the 20-year-old "perfect" for the main role.

The original 1984 version of Footloose starred Kevin Bacon and also featured a young Sarah Jessica Parker.

Hollywood support for the remake appears high. "There's some genuine enthusiasm coming from the Paramount side," said Ortega.

"I've really enjoyed working with them in our early development and it looks like there's a real good chance that this may be a movie that we're going to do next year."

The 58-year-old director has a fine pedigree in dance, having also choreographed the original Dirty Dancing film, as well as being the one behind Madonna's famous Material Girl video.

Efron 'lined-up'

First in line to take on the central role of Ren, is High School Musical star, 20-year-old Zac Efron.

Zac Efron with Vanessa Hudgens
High School Musical star Zac Efron could play the main role of Ren
Kenny hopes that Zac will sign up: "I think he'd be the perfect, perfect, perfect candidate to step in. I mean he's got this global excitement, this wonderful know-how.

"He's the perfect age, so versatile, and talented and dynamic. You know it's hard for me to even imagine anybody that I think would be more perfectly suited."

Luckily, the feeling seems to be mutual. Speaking at this week's High School Musical 3 premiere, Zac admitted to Newsbeat that it was an idea that is "coming together".

He said: "I'll always be open to more musicals. I think they're fun and I think it's our responsibility as performers to try and keep them alive. I love Footloose - it's a great movie."

Dirty memories

And for fans of Dirty Dancing, Kenny let Newsbeat in on how the feel of the movie came together.

"It was great, because it was just the mountains, and the lake, and we had each other and we had the music and a record player.

"We were playing old 45s and it was just the most creative time and ideas just kind of came flowing."


It was this wonderful accident that happened one day in rehearsals where we doing this grinding
Kenny Ortega on Dirty Dancing

As for how the unique dancing style came about, Kenny says he'll never forget when he discovered the "secret" of Dirty Dancing.

He said: "It was this wonderful accident that happened one day in rehearsals where we doing this grinding... hips to the left, and grinding our hips to the right, and then one to the left, one to the right and up the middle.

"My partner was going against me, and I said 'no, no, no, you're not supposed to go against me, you're supposed to go with me.'

"She did it again, and still went away from me, and I went 'wait a minute! There's the friction, there's the excitement, there's dirty dancing.'"



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