There was a time when Kevin Bacon was wanted for a role in the soon-to-be-released remake of his 1984 classic, Footloose.
Director Craig Brewer thought he had the perfect part for him.
"Here's what happened," Brewer told me yesterday at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, "in an early draft of the script there was a version where there was a scene with the deadbeat dad of Ren MacCormack. So when the studio asked me if there was any role I could see Kevin playing, I was like, 'Look, I don't think he needs to play the preacher or [cotton mill owner] Andy Beamis or the uncle who Ren comes to stay with.'
"I said, 'If Kevin wants to do anything, I think he can play the deadbeat dad,' " Brewer recounted.
But Bacon turned them down.
"Kevin was wise in saying no to it," Brewer said. "I think he had the right reason for it. I think that he knew it would cheapen it somehow because if suddenly he showed up winking at the camera, it would have taken some of the teeth out of the narrative."
In the end, Brewer cut the scene entirely.
The much talked about (and debated!) remake costars newcomer Kenny Wormald as Ren and Julianne Hough as Ariel, the rebellious daughter of dancing-averse minister Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid). Country superstar and The Voice coach Blake Shelton covers the movie's iconic title song on the soundtrack.
"I think Craig did it the right way," said Wormald, who makes his major big screen debut in Footloose after having had a successful career as a dancer working with the likes of Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Prince. "I really felt when we were making it, we weren't mimicking or copying the original, but paying respect to it."