Dirty Dancing 2 Finds Its Director, Jennifer Grey Set to Return

Posted 2022/05/09 6 0

The gears are finally turning on Dirty Dancing, aka Dirty Dancing 2. Per Variety, Jonathan Levine (Long Shot, 50/50) has signed on to direct the long-gestating sequel for Lionsgate. The film will serve as a follow-up to the 1987 original with Jennifer Grey also on board to reprise her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman.

Jonathan Levine was already producing the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Elizabeth Chomko. Grey is executive producing in addition to returning as Baby. You can read a statement released by Levine confirming his plans to direct below.

“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.”

Lionsgate’s president of production, Erin Westerman, added:

“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 always gives us goosebumps.”

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Dirty Dancing 2 May Pay Tribute to Patrick Swayze

Patrick Swayze, who co-starred with Grey in the original movie, passed away in 2009. Because he will be missed in the sequel, there are talks with the Swayze estate to “incorporate the actor’s presence in some way.” It’s not clear if that means Swayze could make a posthumous appearance by way of CGI or if archival footage could be used for a flashback sequence, or something else.

Released in 1987, the original Dirty Dancing was directed by Emile Ardolino and written by Eleanor Bergstein. A tremendous success at the box office, the film delves into the romance between a young woman and a dance instructor at a vacation resort. A prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, was released in 2004, while a remake was also released by Lionsgate in 2017. Neither of these entries of the franchise managed to come close to the levels of success attained by the original film, but the hope is that bringing back Jennifer Grey for an official sequel to the original film will conjure up enough interest to have Dirty Dancing lighting the box office on fire once again.

Dirty Dancing does not have an official release date but the plan is for the sequel to start production later this year for a 2024 release.

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