Director/choreographer Kenny Ortega has left Paramount Pictures’ Footloose over creative and budgetary reasons.  The remake is tentatively scheduled for June 2010 starring Chace Crawford and “Dancing with the Stars” perpetual partner Julianne Hough.

Kenny_ortegaOrtega was behind the camera and plotting the dances steps for all three High School Musical movies and was the choreographer on the classic Dirty Dancing.  He recently completed the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, which is poised to be a record-breaking hit this weekend.  He’s pictured here with Manley, his rescue dog that he apparently brings to premieres…

According to Variety, the studio wanted a more modest budget ($25 million or less) and an edgier dramatic tone for Footloose.  Ortega, of course, wanted an “elaborately-staged” musical ($30M) full of song and dance numbers.

Zac Efron was also supposed to be a part of the remake, but left because he didn’t want to be typecast as a twinkle-toed singer.  Too late.

The original story (starring Kevin Bacon) was about a teen who moves to a small, conservative town where he rebels against the anti-dancing laws.  If TV shows count in the “Six Degrees” game, I can finally link Kevin Bacon to UFC fighter Chuck Liddell, who just got voted off that unwatchable dancing show.