Past attempts to create a Dirty Dancing Extended Universe have not gone so well. A prequel, released in 2004 and set in Havana on the cusp of revolution, was a resounding flop, while a proposed remake never made it to the screen. (A stage musical, mounted a decade later, fared much better.) But in our revival-happy days, the blockbuster IP is getting a third-time’s-the-charm attempt, with a sequel set to take place some three decades after the original.
As per Deadline, Jennifer Grey will reprise her beloved turn as Frances “Baby” Houseman, last seen shocking her uptight father (Jerry Orbach) by hoofing with a studly dancer named Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). The sequel, though, hops all the way to the 1990s, focusing on another younger character. Though details are currently scant, Deadline describes it as a “coming-of-age romance centered on the experience of a young woman at the summer camp, but Baby’s own journey will intertwine with this to create a multi-layered narrative.”
The as-yet-untitled sequel will be helmed by a director known for comedies (and sometimes horror-comedies): Jonathan Levine, he of Warm Bodies, Long Shot, and the movie where a long-haired Ben Kingsley makes out with Mary-Kate Olsen. On top of getting Grey to return the role that made her a household name, Levine told Deadline they’re “going to try to involve as many people from the original as is appropriate.”
Levine also said the music will be a mix of songs from the original and ‘90s hip-hop. Then again, some of the songs from the original — including the decidedly ‘80s “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” and “Hungry Eyes,” sung by Swayze himself — didn’t exactly scream 1963.