It's Official: Chace Crawford's Gettin' Footloose
05/19/2009 AT 07:10 PM EDT
Crawford, 23, will play Ren McCormack, the rebellious dancing high schooler who launched the career of a then 25-year-old Kevin Bacon, Paramount Pictures has announced.
In a recent PEOPLE poll, readers were into the idea, but Crawford still trailed front-runner Derek Hough as a replacement for Efron (followed by David Cook and Bow Wow).
High School Musical star Efron told EW.com he passed on the role because he didn't want to be type-cast as the musical guy and was searching instead for "the unknown."
Footloose, to be directed by High School Musical's Kenny Ortega, is set to begin shooting in March 2010.