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Footloose Remake To Cast New Lead Role Actor

Disney Channel heartthrob Zac Efron has backed out of his Kevin Bacon-channeling role in the upcoming remake of the classic '80s musical Footloose. The big screen remake of the popular 1984 film is now in pre-production.

The film will not be reuniting Zac Efron and director Kenny Ortega. Paramount Pictures said in a statement, "While Zac Efron is no longer attached to Footloose, we remain excited and committed to the collective brain trust of High School Musical director Kenny Ortega, to reinvigorate the franchise. His fresh take on the film will undoubtedly be filled with the same kind of breakout performances that we've come to expect from him."

Efron was attached to star in the film but supposedly pulled out of the project to avoid what was fast becoming a typecasting issue. To date, the Disney grad has sung and danced his way through three High School Musicals, Hairspray and even the Oscars.

While Efron has yet to publicly address his reasons for dropping out of the project he has been attached to since July 2007, his move came after the most recent rewrite of the remake's script.

Meet Miley Cyrus Contest

If you're a Miley Cyrus fan and couldn't score tickets to her sold-out concert tour, or didn't happen to catch her 3D movie when it was in theaters, now's your opportunity to experience something even better! In honor of "Hannah Montana: The Movie's" premiere on April 10, Walt Disney, "Access Hollywood, and omg! have teamed up to create a contest where you could win a chance to attend an exclusive advance screening of the new film and ask Miley a question in person at a live taping in Los Angeles.

To enter, all you have to do is submit a question for Miley. (Keep it clean!) You also need to be at least 13 years of age or older, have parental consent to attend, and live in the Los Angeles area or be able to get yourself and a parent to LA for the taping.

Click here to submit your question for Miley at AccessHollywood.com! Please make sure to get it in before 11:59 a.m. PT/2:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.

And even if your question for the "Hannah Montana" star isn't selected, don't forget to go back to omg.yahoo.com on Monday, April 6 and watch the Miley Cyrus fan Q&A session!

Jonas Brothers Schedule for 2009 is a full plate!

It seems the Jonas Brothers are juggling more projects these days than a Wall Street banker. There's the Jonases' new album due in June, rehearsals for this summer's world tour, the "Camp Rock" movie sequel, not to mention monitoring the receipts of this month's 3D concert movie.

As for the 3D concert movie, skeptics noted that the film receipts totaled only $12.7 million for its first weekend and a mere $2.5 million for its second, well below what experts had predicted for such a hot tween property. Joe tried to put the figures in perspective. "At first, you look at it and think it's not doing as well as people perceived but then you look back and be thankful. It's the second highest grossing concert film of all time (behind Miley Cyrus' "Hannah Montana") and that's one of the most amazing achievements," he said. "We were happy where we're at."

Meanwhile, the Jonases this week wrapped up shooting their TV series, "Jonas," which begins in May on the Disney Channel. "It'll be our first time acting," Joe Jonas said. "So far, so good. We've been watching some of the episodes back and we're really excited. We're kind of playing fictional characters (based on) ourselves. We are not the Jonas Brothers, but we are a band called Jonas. It's kind of an overexaggerated version of ourselves."

Thereafter comes their album, due June 15. Joe says the sound of the trio, working again with Minneapolis-bred producer John Fields, was inspired by several different artists: Kings of Leon, Prince, the Zutons and Neil Diamond "with a lot more horns."

A cynic might think that the Jonas Brothers are flooding the marketplace with products and projects because, like previous teen heartthrobs, they might have a limited shelf life.

"We work a lot with the Disney Channel and they release their own things and the Jonas Brothers, we release our own things. Together, it can be a lot," Joe said. "I guess we don't know how long this run is going to be for; but at the same time, we're happy where we are."

The Next Disney Channel Star In The Works

If you have not heard the name Kelly Blatz yet, you soon will be hearing it often.

Quickly creating buzz, the California native comes out of the hit-making machine that catapulted Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers and the High School Musical cast to fame and stardom.

If all goes as planned, the Walt Disney Company will package 21 year old Kelly Blatz into a marketing machine that extends across the company's many platforms, from film and television to merchandise and music.

Disney Channel's vice president of casting and talent, Judy Taylor, remembers the day Blatz came in to audition. "He had been in the room for about 10 minutes when we said, 'Maybe we should find Disney Channel Entertainment President Gary Marsh and introduce him'" she recalls of a Shia LaBeouf-like star quality. "We felt that strongly from the moment we saw him."

Always focused on the next big thing, Disney's latest new network, Disney XD, has pinned its hopes and marketing dollars on the young actor.

Today he can be seen playing the title role on the new network's flagship series Aaron Stone. A former Starbucks barista, Blatz also has a leading part in a much larger role: to attract male tweens to a network tailored to their tastes.

Until February's XD launch, there was a relative shortage of programming designed specifically for the 18 million male tween viewers in the USA. It's a powerful piece of the younger population to not fully attract: Internationally, the age group, usually defined as kids 6 to 14, injects an estimated $50 billion into the economy.

Later this year, Disney XD will serve up still more tween boy talent. The 16-year-old newcomers Hutch Dano and Adam Hicks star in a documentary-style comedy, Zeke & Luther. The pair will play best friends who have set their sights on becoming the world's best skateboarders.

"I'm always looking for talent that you can relate to and that can handle a show," says Taylor.