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It’s been 35 years since we first visited Kellerman’s Resort — are you ready to go back?
It’s not time just yet, but new details are emerging about the sequel to “Dirty Dancing,” and things are looking good!
In early May, Deadline reported that the production is coming together, just in time to sell at the Cannes Film Festival’s film market. Studio Lionsgate announced Jonathan Levine as the director of the sequel.
Levine has revealed that the story will mirror the original, focusing on a young woman’s coming-of-age romance at the summer camp. Casting discussions are reportedly underway for the project’s leads.
“This film exists in a dialogue with the original,” Levine told Deadline. “We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation.”
Expect a lot of callbacks to the 1987 film, which was set in the summer of 1963, starting with the title — it will also be called “Dirty Dancing.” And guess what else? Levine says Baby’s story will continue in the sequel, too.
Jennifer Grey is already attached to reprise her role as Frances Houseman, aka Baby. (She’s also an executive producer on the film.) In the new movie, she’ll return to Kellerman’s in the 1990s.
Much like the first film, a nostalgia-fueled soundtrack is in the works. Levine dropped names like Liz Phair and Alanis Morrissette as potential contributors, plus some ‘90s hip-hop hits. He also said to expect faves from the first movie, like Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes.”
In addition to familiar music, familiar faces will hopefully make appearances as well.
“We’re going to try to involve as many people from the original as is appropriate,” Levine said. “We want to be respectful in every way.”
This means, of course, that one very big name will be missing: Patrick Swayze, who played hunky dance instructor Johnny Castle, died in 2009 of pancreatic cancer.
Levine said they’ve been in talks with Swayze’s estate to figure out a way to bring Johnny back for the sequel in a way that honors his memory.
No other cast members have yet been announced, but Grey has at least one person on her shortlist. During a recent appearance on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” Grey name-checked a certain handsome pop star.
“Here’s a question: Who do you think should be the next inappropriate match for Baby?” Grey joked. “How about Schmarry Schmiles? Somebody who rhymes with Schmarry Schmiles?”
Harry Styles? I, for one, think it’s a worthy suggestion!
According to Deadline, production is set to begin later this year for a 2024 release. Stay tuned for more updates!
[h/t: Harper’s Bazaar]