In popping-and-locking news of the day, Ryan Guzman and Kathryn McCormick will serve as the leads on Summit Entertainment’s Step Up 4. As an unabashed fan of the ludicrous property that is the Step Up franchise, I feel very secure in announcing my thoughts on this casting announcement. One word alone will sum up my feelings, based on my vast knowledge of the films – who?
Who, indeed. The film will be Guzman’s acting debut, as he has previously had a “career” as a model. McCormick was “discovered” by reality dance show So You Think You Can Dance. Without knowing how McCormick did on the show, I can confidently say -yes, indeed she can dance, she now has a feature film to show it. Giggles and shrugs aside, the Step Up franchise has a long history of turning models and dancers into ostensible stars. The first film starred Channing Tatum (who had worked in acting previously, but also had background in dancing and modeling) and former model Jenna Dewan (who also, shock of shocks, was best known for her previous work dancing in music videos). The second film followed the same casting cues, with former dancer Robert Hoffman and former dancer Brianna Evigan filling the leading roles. I remember nothing about the third film, because its shoddy 3D blinded me, but I suspect it too starred former dancers. In any case, it is heartening to see films about dance starring actual dancers. Adds that sense of verisimilitude and gritty realism all dance films require (see: no other dance films ever).
Little is known about the fourth film in the unlikely franchise, beyond that it is set in Miami. Like the franchise’s third film, Step Up 4 will be in 3D. This latest outing will be directed by Scott Speer (in his feature debut, as Speer is best known for his work as a music video director, naturally) from a script by Jenny Mayer (also in her feature debut).