Paramount Pictures is doing everything it can to make sure Zac Efron is Footloose and roadblock-free.
In the wake of the box-office domination of the Zefron-juiced High School Musical 3: Senior Year, the studio has put its remake of the Kevin Bacon classic on the fast track, with production slated to begin on the musical next spring.
According to Variety, Paramount is doing what it can to ensure a smooth run-up to the start date, including offering the 21-year-old star a "mid-seven-figure salary" and script approval.
Along for the potentially lucrative ride is HSM3 director Kenny Ortega, who will once again shepherd Efron through the lofty big-screen endeavor.
Because the studio is hoping the Footloose audience skews slightly older than Efron's current demographic—aiming for older teens and adults in lieu of Disneyfied tweens—Paramount has enlisted the slightly more edgy talents of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist director Peter Sollett to give the script a once-over.
Bringing out all the stops, the studio has also commissioned new songs to be written for the flick. While the original was, without question, a music-heavy venture, the remake will go one step further and actually branch into musical genre territory. As further insurance for success, the studio has roped in two Chicago producers to lend a hand on the movie.
The project was first announced in July 2007, but was put on the back burner while the star went into production on HSM3 and 17 Again, which is set for release next April.
Meanwhile, word of the film's fast-tracking is seemingly news even to Efron, who earlier this month spoke in hopeful, albeit much less definitive, terms about the project.
"Footloose is coming together, actually," he said. "We're trying to figure out the right way to do it, but yeah. It seems like it's going to happen."