Thomas Dekker, the star of Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," is in talks to take a lead role in MGM's remake of the 1980 musical "Fame."

Thomas Dekker, the star of Fox's "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles," is in talks to take a lead role in MGM's remake of the 1980 musical "Fame."

Dekker is gunning to play Marco, a working-class kid with some gnarly acting chops who is competing with thousands of hopefuls to get into and survive an elite New York public high school for the arts.

Written by Allison Burnett, the revamp will be directed by Kevin Tancharoen, a director and choreographer who has worked in TV (MTV's "DanceLife"), on music videos and on tours for such singers as Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson.

The film's producers have been holding open casting calls in New York and Los Angeles since the spring (video auditions posted by wannabes also pepper YouTube).

The original "Fame," directed by Alan Parker, followed an ensemble of ambitious young performers and teachers as the kids worked their way through the prestigious New York Academy of Performing Arts. The film was nominated for six Oscars and won for best score and best original song, "Fame," performed by co-star Irene Cara. It was then spun off into a TV series.

MGM, under the production leadership of Mary Parent, already has staked out Sept. 25, 2009, as a release date. Other characters about to be cast include an aspiring filmmaker, a shapely dancer, a slam poet, a salsa musician and a sheltered pianist.

Dekker started acting at age 6 and comes from a musical family. He sang on the soundtracks of several films in the animated "Land Before Time" video series and has an album, "Psyanotic," on iTunes.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

Print