Ortega Departs “Footloose” Remake

Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical,” “Michael Jackson’s This Is It”) has dropped out of directing the upcoming “Footloose” remake for Paramount Pictures reports Variety.

Ortega left the project due creative differences over tone and budget – he wanted a $30 million musical with elaborate stage numbers, they want a sub-$25 million edgy drama with less emphasis on the songs.

Ortega and his “High School Musical” star Zac Efron were originally teamed on the project until Efron suddenly departed the film a few months ago. He was later replaced by “Gossip Girl” star Chace Crawford who remains attached. Country singer Julianne Hough has the lead female role.

Paramount is racing to find a new director to keep the film on schedule to shoot in March during Crawford’s hiatus from his TV series commitments.