Movie Maniac

Feeling fancy-free? 'Footloose' remake seeking new talent

Kick up your Sunday shoes —The much-delayed remake of " Footloose" will finally go into production this summer, and Paramount Pictures is conducting a nationwide casting search.

The studio said in a statement earlier this week that it is seeking males 18 or older to play high school seniors, and that they "must have natural rhythm and be comfortable dancing." It also stated that "you do not have to be a trained dancer, but a quick learner."

I'm exactly what they're looking for! And by "exactly," I mean not even remotely close.

But if you are, detailed instructions on how to send in an audition clip are available at www.footloosecasting.com , where candidates can also download a page from the script and get instructions on how to video their audition. Candidates must also download a consent and contact form, and e-mail everything to footloosecasting@ yahoo.com.

The original 1984 film bolted a young Kevin Bacon to stardom as a city boy who moves to a small town where rock music and dancing are banned. Zac Efron was originally named to star in the remake. Chace Crawford of "Gossip Girl" was then cast until he recently backed out due to scheduling conflicts.

The deadline for audition submissions is Wednesday.

Dismal delivery — Yikes. Last weekend's box-office take was the worst for a Memorial Day weekend in 17 years.

"Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" seemed to suffer from general lack of interest while " Sex and the City 2" seemed to suffer from almost universally scathing reviews that likened the gal-pal sequel to "Ishtar." Ouch!

Things don't look too good for this weekend's new offering, " Killers," either. The Katherine Heigl/Ashton Kutcher romantic comedy wasn't screened early for critics — usually a sure indicator that it would generate poor reviews.

But Lionsgate, the film's distributor, announced that it was all part of the film's marketing strategy. The studio says it is banking on social networking buzz "to give the opportunity to movie-going audiences and critics alike to see 'Killers' simultaneously and share their thoughts in the medium of their choosing."

I'm not buying it. If the movie were good, the studio would be only too happy to have it heaped with glowing reviews on its opening day.

Guess we'll have to see. Or someone will, because I doubt I'll see "Killers," but weirder things have happened. I did, after all, see "MacGruber" (hey, I just wanted some popcorn).

Movie meeting — Peter Jasso, director of the Kansas Film Commission, will moderate a panel this week titled " Make Your Own Movies: Local Edition." Panelists will include local filmmakers Tyler Emerson and Paul Klusman, as well as myself. We will talk about our creative processes and show examples of our work. I might even wear a clean shirt.

The event will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the Wichita Public Library's main branch, 223 S. Main. It's open to the public and admission is free.

The program is part of a yearlong celebration leading up to the library's 25th anniversary of its Academy Award Shorts program in 2011. For more information, call 316-261-8500 or go to www.wichita.lib.ks.us/ programs/shorts.

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