Twitter and the internet itself, are both on fire today as outraged fans air their complaints regarding Lionsgate’s recent announcement that it will remake the classic ’80s dance pic Dirty Dancing. The studio announced Monday that the choreographer of the original film, Kenny Ortega, will direct the remake.
Patrick Swayze immortalized the role of Johnny Castle in the 1987 romance film. Johnny was a guy from the wrong side of the tracks with all the right moves, and a love interest for the young but earnest Baby (played by Jennifer Grey). The original is often referred to as a sleeper hit, and is now considered one of the greatest ’80s pics of all time.
Emile Ardolino directed the original, and brought some great heart and pizazz to the period dance romance. His style is typified in later films he directed like Sister Act and Chances Are. Though Ortega choreographed the original, his direction of High School Musical and Cheetah Girls 2 hardly recommends him as far as style, but the dancing numbers will no doubt be just as effective as the original. And with some great choreographing feats under his belt, like the dance/skate stylings in Xanadu and One From the Heart, as well as many stage musicals, I’m sure the choreography will be spot on.
The Twitter feedback has not been good from fans, but Grey gave it her blessing yesterday by tweeting the following:
I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake. Blown away by all of the love expressed for #DirtyDancing. Makes me want to see it again. So grateful to have been a part of it.
In the press release, Ortega said he was excited about the project to:
The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me. Growing up in the ’60s on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.
Ok, so I’m not surprised that this is being remade, not when Hollywood is digging up any/all ’80s pics that mean anything and revamping them. Sometimes I like a good modernization, but when they’re poaching on what I like to called sacred ground, I think it’s just unnecessary and a money-grab move. The question is, will the sudden negative backlash already whipping around put a stop to the remake?
It’s still early, so we’ll have to wait and see as more news trickles out about this controversial remake. Questions surrounding who will fill the iconic roles of Johnny and Baby are popping up everywhere. While there is no word yet on who will play the leads, all I know is that if High School Musical star Zac Efron‘s name surfaces, I’ll definitely lose all hope.