The Dirty Dancing film is one of those things everyone has seen if they have ever been near a screen at some point and now, because owner Lionsgate smells cash, Jonathan Levine is giving the world a sequel.
News of the 50/50 director coming on to the legacy sequel sure to boost studio profits in the quarter it releases is reported today in an article from Variety. The story also notes Jennifer Grey will be reprising her role she famously played alongside Patrick Swayze in the 1987 release and Levine was previously attached to the idea around the intellectual property with a built-in audience as a producer. Works like this do not always receive a good fan reception, but Levine says in the article he will not let anyone down.
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel. Through co-writing it, I fell in love with the characters (new and old), the world of 1990s Catskills New York, and the music, which will range from songs from the original movie to ‘90s hip-hop. I can’t wait to collaborate with Jennifer to bring this beautiful story of summer and romance and dancing to a generation of new fans. And to the longtime ones, I promise we will not ruin your childhood. We will tackle the assignment with sophistication, ambition, and, above all, love.”
The new production is also called Dirty Dancing, and is set to film this year for release in 2024. It is not known if any other original cast members will reprise their roles and Lionsgate told Variety the film is the best-selling one in their library. There was a reimagining in 2004 titled Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, which was not well-received, and, here, Lionsgate representative Erin Westerman says they’ll be better.
“Dirty Dancing is more than a movie – it’s a cultural touchstone that continues to be a rite of passage. As we approach the next chapter, we knew we had to honor the depth, the relevance, and the heat of the original. We’ve been lucky to have Jennifer as our guide and are thrilled to have Jonathan by her side at the helm, because everything he makes is textured and romantic – he gives us goosebumps.”
The original film, with its iconic final song and lift, is available to stream on HBO Max.