Already having inspired several spin-offs and re-creations, it’s officially been announced that a Dirty Dancing sequel is in the works. Jonathan Levine, the filmmaker behind Long Shot, 50/50, and Snatched, confirmed he would be directing the Dirty Dancing sequel for Lionsgate with Jennifer Grey set to reprise her classic role as Frances “Baby” Houseman.
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favourite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel,” Levine said in a statement. “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.”
Director Levine co-wrote the sequel, also titled Dirty Dancing, with Elizabeth Chomko. Lionsgate’s CEO, Jon Feltheimer, confirmed the news two years ago, but further details have emerged now, including when it’ll arrive in cinemas. Taking place around 35 years later, the 1990s set sequel is expected to include songs from the original film and ’90s hip-hop and pop. Levine, who also acts as producer, hinted at Alanis Morisette and Liz Phair songs being featured.
While Grey will be back for her role as the one and only Frances Houseman, her co-star, the late Patrick Swayze, sadly isn’t around to join her to recreate the 80s cult classic. He died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. However, according to Variety, the “filmmakers are in conversations with Swayze’s estate to incorporate the actor’s presence in some way”. Levine revealed that they are “exploring” a full-fledged reunion and Grey may also be joined by fellow OG cast members. Casting has reportedly begun as the new flick will go into production later this year, with the studio eyeing a 2024 release.
Dirty Dancing became a worldwide sensation following its release in 1987. According to Lionsgate, Dirty Dancing is the studio’s best-selling movie. Emile Ardolino directed the original romance, following a young woman who falls in love with a dance instructor named Jonny Castle at Kellerman’s, an upscale Catskills resort in New York — her father opposes their relationship, which creates tension between the two.
Between romance and now-historic dance routines, the story tackled important issues like abortion and classism. The film made a whopping $214 million at the box office and landed an Oscar for best original song. The ever-popular musical number (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life won the film its only Academy Award and a Grammy.