Jackson Lee/Ahmad Elatab/Splash News Online
hottie Chace Crawford
will be kicking off his Sunday shoes in the remake of Footloose
, stepping into the void left behind when Zac Efron
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."
, to be directed by High School Musical
's Kenny Ortega, is set to begin shooting in March 2010.