The original Dirty Dancing movie became a worldwide phenomenon following its release in 1987. Having already inspired a number of spin-offs and re-creations, it’s officially been announced that a Dirty Dancing sequel is really happening, and Jennifer Grey, who famously portrayed Frances “Baby” Houseman in the original film, will return.
Now, two years after the project was first confirmed, the team has released new details on the plot, the soundtrack, and a possible tribute to Patrick Swayze. Here’s everything we know so far about the Dirty Dancing sequel.
The Dirty Dancing sequel is aiming to release in 2024.
Deadline reports that the much-anticipated sequel is expected to start filming later this year with a possible release in 2024. The film will see Baby returning to Kellerman’s resort in the ’90s, with her own storyline intertwining with a new romance involving a young couple at the resort. These stories will be soundtracked by a mix of ’90s tracks and songs from the original soundtrack, including Eric Carmen’s “Hungry Eyes.”
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel,” director and co-writer Jonathan Levine said. “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,” he continued.
Baby will be back for the Dirty Dancing sequel.
Fans of the original Dirty Dancing will be elated to hear that Baby herself, Jennifer Grey, is coming back for the sequel. Deadline confirmed that Grey would be both starring in and producing the sequel, meaning that she’s heavily involved in the production.
Grey’s involvement in the sequel is particularly important as the actress previously turned down the chance to appear in ABC’s 2017 remake, which starred Abigail Breslin. Grey told The Hollywood Reporter at the time, “I was asked to do something on that show and I was flattered because I always want to be asked because it’s nice to want to be included. But for me, it would be sacrosanct for me to do it because it didn’t feel appropriate to me.”
The Dirty Dancing sequel has directors and writers attached.
According to Deadline, Jonathan Levine, who is known for his work on 50/50, Long Shot, and the Hulu series Nine Perfect Strangers will direct the sequel, and is working with production executive Gillian Bohrer, who had a hand in Twilight, on the project. The screenplay was written by Levine and Elizabeth Chomko, who previously penned the 2018 indie film What They Had.
Get ready for some nostalgia.
Lionsgate’s CEO, Jon Feltheimer, opened up to Deadline about the movie, which he called “one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood.” Feltheimer explained, “It will be exactly the kind of romantic, nostalgic movie that the franchise’s fans have been waiting for and that have made it the biggest-selling library title in the Company’s history.”
The Dirty Dancing sequel will honor the late Patrick Swayze.
In an interview with Deadline, Levine revealed that Baby may not be the only character from the original Dirty Dancing to return, saying that the sequel’s team will be reaching out to some of the original cast members. Although original star Patrick Swayze died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, the production team is also in conversation with the late actor’s estate about including his character Johnny in a respectful manner.
“Johnny is a part of Baby’s journey in the story,” Levine told the outlet. “This film exists in a dialogue with the original. We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation. That said, Johnny’s absence looms large over the story, so it’s a coming-of-age story but also a coming-of-age for Baby’s character in a way.”
This article originally appeared in Harper’s BAZAAR US