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Well, when someone asked Kenny Ortega during last week's roundtables for This Is It about the start date for his Footloose remake, I figured his muttered "not sure" was just avoiding the question. But it turns out Ortega really didn't know anything about Footloose at that point, because he's not directing it anymore.

Variety is reporting that Ortega has bailed on the project "strictly over budget," because Ortega wanted some elaborate musical numbers and Paramount wanted to make it "an edgier drama with less emphasis on the musical numbers." Yes, because when you hire the director of High School Musical, you should definitely expect a non-musical edgy drama. Idiots.

Of course Ortega isn't the first key player to bounce on the project-- Zac Efron had to be replaced by Chace Crawford just a few months after he'd signed on. Now the studio will be out looking for a replacement, and I feel pretty confident that the other premier pop-musical director out there-- Adam Shankman-- will be too busy (he's producing the Oscars this year, after all). So who does that leave? Phyllida Lloyd, the first-time director who made bad camera placement and terrible lighting a kind of art form in Mamma Mia! Do you think Rob Marshall wants something fluffier now that he's done with Nine? The options really aren't great, which makes me worry that the Kevin Bacon classic will be remade entirely in vain.