Dirty Dancing 2
- Original Release: August 21, 1987
- Franchise: Lionsgate
- Release: 2024 (planned)
Dirty Dancing 2 is really happening! It’s already been 36 years since the original, but who’s counting? Yes, folks, Dirty Dancing is finally getting a sequel, with Jennifer Grey making a return. Let’s take a look at everything we already know about the movie and what this could mean for the franchise.
JENNIFER GREY WILL BE BACK FOR DIRTY DANCING 2
Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lionsgate, confirmed what many in the biz already knew. Dirty Dancing 2 is a go and Baby will be back. Feltheimer told Deadline, “[Dirty Dancing 2] 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.”
Jennifer Grey will be reprising her role as Baby but other than that, details on Dirty Dancing 2 are very scarce. What is known is who will be behind the camera. Jonathan Levine (50/50, Long Shot) and Gillian Bohrer will direct the movie. The screenplay will be written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis (Five Feet Apart, The Curse of La Llorona).
As of now, there is no release date for Dirty Dancing 2. There is also no word on who will be choreographing the movie or what music will be included. While Jennifer Grey’s role as Baby is sure to be a major one, there is also no word as to who will be joining her in the cast.
THE ORIGINAL WITH PATRICK SWAYZE AND JENNIFER GREY IS A CULT CLASSIC
With all this talk about Dirty Dancing 2, we have to talk about the original film and its iconic status. Let’s start with Patrick Swayze and the role he played in this landmark piece of pop culture.
Patrick Swayze was in the process of building his resume in the ’80s, coming off movies such as The Outsiders, playing the older brother of C. Thomas Howell’s Ponyboy. He was then in Uncommon Valor, Red Dawn, and Youngblood before he took on the role of dance instructor Johnny Castle in Dirty Dancing. It was the role and film that would define his career.
Dirty Dancing told the story of Castle who, as the dance instructor of an upscale resort in the Catskills in the early 1960s, meets and eventually falls in love with Jennifer Grey’s Frances Houseman, aka Baby.
The movie is well-known for its soundtrack – it won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy for Best Original Song with “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” – but is most well-known for its steamy dance sequences between Swayze and Grey.
Dirty Dancing was written by Eleanor Bergstein and is based on her own childhood. The film was made for a modest $6 million but has ended up with a worldwide take of over $217 million. Not a bad return. It is sad, though, that Swayze passed away back in 2009 at the young age of 57.
Jennifer Grey, on the other hand, didn’t have a large body of work before Dirty Dancing came knocking. She started with Reckless and then actually worked with Swayze on the 1984 movie Red Dawn.
However, her great comedic role as the sister of Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off definitely helped get her noticed. It didn’t hurt that dancing was in her family. Grey is the daughter of the Oscar-winning actor and dancer Joel Grey (Cabaret). Initially, she was paired with actor Billy Zane, as he was shooting for the role of Johnny Castle, but the pairing didn’t fit. Enter Swayze and history.
DIRTY DANCING: HAVANA NIGHTS ISN’T TECHNICALLY DIRTY DANCING 2
With the success of the original, there would naturally be a desire to make Dirty Dancing 2. Unfortunately, a direct sequel never immediately panned out. At least not until much later with the unnecessary Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights.
It’s hard to call it a sequel because the movie was set in Cuba in 1959, but it does carry the Dirty Dancing name. Surprisingly, Swayze makes an appearance in the movie as a dance class instructor, even dancing with the movie’s lead Katey (Romola Garai), but Grey did not make an appearance.
However, Grey was asked to play some part in the three-hour TV remake of Dirty Dancing. “I was asked to do something on that show and I was flattered because I always want to be asked because it’s nice to want to be included,” she explained to The Hollywood Reporter. “But for me, it would be sacrosanct for me to do it because it didn’t feel appropriate to me.”
There was another reason why Grey said no at the time. “It feels like if you’re going to do your own thing, do your own thing,” she added. “I wouldn’t say [what role was offered] but I will tell you, it wasn’t Baby!”
DIRTY DANCING 2 IS SET TO RELEASE IN 2024
While the original announcement for a Dirty Dancing 2 was made all the way back in 2020, it had been mostly radio silence for a couple of years. But then in early 2022, there was confirmation that the movie was in pre-production and the studio was eying a 2024 release date. No other specifics were given about when (or where) we would see the film, but it was at least confirmation that things were moving forward.
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