Footloose: A Director’s Passion
Craig Brewer is known for his distinct aesthetic and vision as seen in his critically-acclaimed films “Hustle & Flow” and “Black Snake Moan.” With a reputation of being a filmmaker who infuses his work with realism, grit and passion, Brewer isn’t afraid to shed light on cultural nuances that are deemed taboo by some. Though not a seemingly obvious choice for a mainstream ‘80s classic, Brewer loved the idea of revisiting a film that had a significant impact on his own life.
“When I was 13, “Footloose” had a profound effect on me and completely rocked my dome,” explains Brewer. “The film had teen rebellion couched in community and a religious storyline that didn’t hit you over the head. I felt that it was truly a story that could be told today and still be relevant, entertaining and essentially still “Footloose,” says Brewer.
Craig Zadan, who was also a producer of the original movie, recognized the significance of the film in current times and also believed that it was something that would still resonate with audiences. “There’s a generation now that would find a whole new meaning in this story,” says Zadan. “The film touches on so many issues that people are dealing with today and, in tandem with the musical elements and the classic nature of the story, it feels very contemporary.”
Brewer and Zadan’s shared sensibility about the film’s timelessness made for a perfect match. “There are many people who could have done a rehash of “Footloose,” but it wouldn’t have been unique, original or fresh. There are many directors out there, but very few filmmakers and Craig Brewer is a true filmmaker.”
Brewer’s vision included telling more of Bomont’s back story, which was a town shaken to the core after losing five of their brightest teens, including Reverend Shaw’s own son. “When Craig and I sat down and talked about the movie, we both knew we wanted to shed some light on the point of view of the parents, since we are both parents of young children,” recalls producer Brad Weston. “We didn’t want it to be just a teen rebellion movie because it’s dealing with loss and the lengths that these parents went to, to try and protect their children.”
To bring audiences inside the emotional state of mind of the community, Craig Brewer begins the film with the tragic car accident. “The decision to start with the car crash gives the audience a sense of the pain that led to the extreme restrictions,” states Zadan. “It’s easier to see, in a compassionate way, that this community was filled with grief-ridden parents trying to protect their children and not just a bunch of conservative religious fanatics.”
Related Link: Read the Full Production Notes for Footloose Movie