The Dirty Dancing sequel has found its director.
Deadline has announced that Jonathan Levine will direct the sequel for Lionsgate. Levine, of course, is perhaps best known for directing films such as Warm Bodies and 50/50. The long-awaited sequel to the 1987 hit, Dirty Dancing, will be brought to the Cannes market next week by Lionsgate and will reportedly feature a mix of music from the original and 90s hip-hop.
Levine spoke exclusively to Deadline and revealed that the sequel, also titled Dirty Dancing, will be a coming-of-age romance much like the first film. The sequel will center on a young woman at the original summer camp that’ll see Baby’s own journey intertwine to create a “multi-layered narrative.” Along with serving as a director on the film, Levine also co-wrote the sequel along with Elizabeth Chomko (What They Had).
As it stands, Jennifer Grey, who starred in the original, is the only cast member attached to the film. However, the team behind the sequel reportedly has a “shortlist of names” to play the lead character. It’s expected that the cast will consist of name actors and a slew of newcomers. “We are about to talk to people and are exploring that,” Levin told the outlet. “The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board. She is an invaluable collaborator. We’re going to try to involve as many people from the original as is appropriate. We want to be respectful in every way.”
Dirty Dancing starred Grey and the late Patrick Swayze. While it was never a critical darling, the original film is beloved and has spawned countless sequels and even saw a made-for-tv adaptation in 2017 that starred Abigail Breslin as Frances “Baby” Houseman.
Production is expected to kick off later this year for a 2024 release.