It’s been a while since we’ve had the time of our lives—but now we can owe it all to Jennifer Grey and Jonathan Levine for bringing it back. That’s right: Lionsgate’s sequel to the iconic 1987 film Dirty Dancing is aiming for a 2024 release date, with Long Shot’s Levine joining as director, reports Deadline. Jennifer Grey will back in her iconic role as Baby.
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel,” says Levine in an interview with the outlet. “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 [Grey] to bring this beautiful story of summer and romance and dancing to a generation of new fans.”
Levine continues: “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.”
Proving herself as the one woman you can’t put in a corner, Jennifer Grey is returning to the sequel as a more mature Baby. In the film, she will return to a 1990s version of the Catskills resort. Though Levine reveals that the plot is pretty similar to the first film—coming-of-age romance of a young woman at a summer resort—Baby will experience her own arc that will be woven together with the new character’s experiences.
Levine also says the cast will be filled with newcomers and well-known actors, so, Grey might not be the only familiar face twirling throughout the true sequel (sorry, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights).
“The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board,” voices Levine. “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.”
It would be unforgivable to not mention the potential soundtrack, especially when the original gave us “Hungry Eyes” and “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.” Leaning into the Lilith Fair-vibe, Levine names Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair as possible artists with songs in the film. He also says ‘90s hip-hop and songs from the original film will all be heard on the soundtrack.
As well as direct, Levine co-wrote the script with Elizabeth Chomko (What They Had). Grey will executive produce the sequel, with Levine producing via his banner Megamix beside his producing partner Gillian Bohrer.