Ortega cuts Footloose

Kenny Ortega has exited his post as director of Paramount’s “Footloose” remake.

The director, whose latest film “Michael Jackson : This Is It” opens this week, apparently wasn’t happy with the direction and tone the film was taking.

“Footloose” is a remake of the 1984 drama about a newcomer (a star-making turn for Kevin Bacon) who moves to a town and rebels against its no-dance law. According to Variety, Ortega wanted to make a picture with elaborately-staged musical numbers, at a budget of $30 million or so. Paramount production chief Adam Goodman wanted an edgier drama with less emphasis on the musical numbers, and a budget around $25 million or less. Paramount has confirmed the budget dispute, but the studio said the budget will be less than $25 million.

Ortega had been working on the film since his “High School Musical” star Zac Efron was attached. The project will now star Chace Crawford (“Gossip Girl”) in the lead role.

Paramount is expected to start looking for a new director tomorrow.