Lionsgate has announced plans for a sequel to Dirty Dancing, the iconic 1987 flick about romance in the Catskills. And Jennifer Gray is on board, too.
The star of the original film played Frances “Baby” Houseman, a shy Jewish teen who learns to dance with the brooding Johnny Castle, played memorably by the late Patrick Swayze. Now, the 60-year-old star will return to the material as executive producer.
A script is already in the works by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. Jonathan Levine is attached as director. And if you’re looking to have “the time of your life” all over again, you may be in luck. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer says the sequel will fulfill all your 80’s nostalgia cravings.
“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,” Feltheimer said.
The Never-Ending Franchise
This isn’t the first time Dirty Dancing has be put through the reboot wringer. In 1988, a short-lived CBS TV series of the same title didn’t make it past 11 episodes before cancellation. In 2004, Lionsgate released a prequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, though it featured none of the original cast, and garnered none of the original praise. Then, in 2017, ABC released a made-for-TV remake of the original film, starring Abigail Breslin as Baby. It was, similarly, panned. And you can probably guess how the public reacted the stage musical adaptation.
Still, the planned sequel will be the first installment of the franchise to involve Jennifer Gray, a sign that it could be closer to the source material than any of the other reboots or spinoffs. But matching the magic and success of the original will be no simple feat. The 1987 film grossed $214 million worldwide, and won an Oscar for Best Original Song, “The Time of My Life.”