“DIRTY DANCING” SEQUEL Coming from LIONSGATE; Star JENNIFER GREY Reprising

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One prime candidate for the informal title of the “ultimate chick flick” is 1987’s “Dirty Dancing,” starring Jennifer Grey and the late Patrick Swayze as a privileged girl and a working-class dance instructor who meet and fall in love over intimate/”dirty” dance styles at a 1960s lake resort. With the theme song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and featuring great dance choreography (one word: lift), the film was a sleeper hit that inspired a stage adaptation, dance tours, and a 2004 prequel. But current rights holder Lionsgate is interested in seeing a “Dirty Dancing” sequel done. Now that prospect has become a possibility.

According to CNN, the plans are in place to see a real follow-up to “Dirty Dancing” from Lionsgate Films. This was revealed by the studio CEO Jon Feltheimer from a company earnings call last weekThursday, August 7. He does remark that the sequel development is a badly-kept Hollywood secret, describing the proposed movie as “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.” What makes this different from the now-forgotten sequel “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” also from Lionsgate, is the involvement of a key original star.

That would be Jennifer Grey, who was one of the leads from the original “Dirty Dancing” portraying Frances Houseman, aka Baby. Sadly, her costar actor Patrick Swayze had passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009 at age 57. Nevertheless, not only is Grey up for returning in the sequel and reprising her famous role, she is also one of the project’s executive producers. Other production names involved are Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis for the movie screenplay, as well as Jonathan Levine and Gillian Bohrer.

“Dirty Dancing” was produced by the Great American Films Limited Partnership under Vestron Pictures. From its $5 million budget the movie would make $218 million at the box office, though it ultimately would not save Vestron from bankruptcy in 1991. Lionsgate gained the Vestron film library from its prior owners Artisan Entertainment in 2003, leading to their “Havana Nights” prequel, which recycled the plot with a rich American girl and a resort waiter with dance skills in Cuba a year before the 1959 Cuban Revolution. The “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” song performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes also won Best Original Song at the 1987 Academy Awards and 1988 Golden Globes.

Image courtesy of ABC News

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