Brewer directs new take on classic

Craig Brewer Re-created “Foot-loose” to be more than just a dance movie.

Brian Dulle / Washburn Review

Known for using music to complement his storytelling, director and screen writer Craig Brewer brings back the 1984 classic film “Footloose” onto the big screen this Friday with the same classic story but with a different look to it.

Brewer said that he knows how to put music together in a movie that is thrilling or compelling and is a huge fan of the original “Footloose.”

“Not only was I into the soundtrack of the movie,” said Brewer, “but I actually figured out a way where I have one of those pop-loader VCRs, and I have these audio outputs on the back of the VCR, and I kind of put together that I could go buy a RCA cord from RadioShack and plug the VCR into the back of my boom box and I can make it a cassette tape copy of the movie, of the audio.”

“So I actually had the dialogue and everything from “Footloose” on my Walkman when I would walk to school,” he said.

Brewer said he knew he was going to need a balance of songs that were untouched from the original.

“We begin with Kenny Loggins’ Footloose,” he said.  “We also have Deneice Williams’, Let’s Hear It for the Boy, but we also remade these songs as well.”

Brewer passed on the movie twice because he saw how they were going to be making it.

“They kind of got the same team that had made ‘High School Musical’,” said Brewer. “I shook my head saying ‘I don’t know what they’re going to do with that,’ but “Footloose” is more than a dance movie.”

Brewer said when he decided to do “Footloose” he had to make peace with the fact that there was going to be a wall of hate coming his way.

“That’s the prayer that I gave to “Hustle and Flow” and “Black Snake Moan” on every day of my shoot,” he said.  “I have only known polarizing (stripes), and I have never known a (hiss).”

“I’ve known people coming up to me later and saying they saw my movie on TV or on DVD and that it was really good and if they had known it was going to be like that, they would’ve gone to see it in a movie theater,” said Brewer.

Brewer said that he had never been more confident in his life as a director that he nailed a movie.

“I nailed the “Footloose” remake,” said Brewer.  “I think that nobody would’ve made it better than the team that we put together.”

Brewer said that there is a tremendous amount of love for the original “Footloose”, but there is also an urgency to tell a movie that had the ideals and energy of the original “Footloose” that had the energy of the original.

“I know I get eye rolls for that because people look at “Footloose” as the big hair                               and the tight jeans and some of the cheesy songs,” Brewer said.

“We live in a time where Red State-Blue State Divide is rearing its ugly head again and again, and I think that we managed to make “Footloose” more relevant today than it was in 1984.”

Brewer met with the director of the original film, Dean Pitchford, to talk about the script.

“I let him know that he made something for me when I was 13 that made me feel like I wasn’t alone,” said Brewer.  “I told him what I wanted to do, and he was very supportive of me, and he’s seen the movie recently, and he loved it.”  “As a writer, it was special to him to see a new interpretation of his ideas and to see that it worked more than 25 years later and that it’s still relevant.”