The Dirty Dancing sequel is officially happening

Kristine Tarbert
·Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·3-min read

Get ready to have the time of your life again as it’s officially been confirmed that Jennifer Grey is returning to star as Baby in a Dirty Dancing sequel.

Rumours of a Dirty Dancing follow-up had been swirling for some time leaving studio Lionsgate no other choice as to now finally relent and confirm “one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood”.

dirty dancing
A Dirty Dancing sequel is coming. Photo: Lionsgate

“It 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,” CEO Jon Feltheimer said.

Jennifer played Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in the 1987 film, which saw her fall in love with Patrick Swayze’s hunky dancing instructor Johnny Castle at a holiday resort.

The now 60-year-old star will also serve as an executive producer on the film, while Jonathan Levine (Long Shot/Snatched) will direct.

No other details, including plot or release date, were announced, although there have been some reports the film is to be set in the 90s.

NEW YORK - AUGUST 17:  (FILE PHOTO) Actors Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze attend the premiere of 'Dirty Dancing' at the Gemini Theater on August 17, 1987 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim Smeal/WireImage)
Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze attend the premiere of 'Dirty Dancing', 1987 in New York City. (Jim Smeal/WireImage)

Talking in 2016, Jennifer paid tribute to her co-star Patrick Swayze who sadly died aged 57 in 2009 after being diagnosed with cancer.

“He was really strong and he was very protective and his heart was very much in it,” she said at the time.

“He was a great dancer and he was fearless. His fearlessness with my fearfulness — like his lack of Jewishness and my super Jewishness — together was like a marriage where you have two opposites. He'd do anything and I'd be scared to do anything.”

The actress had previously rejected the opportunity to return for ABC’s made-for-TV remake of Dirty Dancing, which instead starred Abigail Breslin in the ‘Baby’ role.

“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. But for me, it would be sacrosanct for me to do it because it didn't feel appropriate to me,” she told The Hollywood Reporter in 2016.

“It feels like if you're going to do your own thing, do your own thing. I wouldn't say [what role was offered] but I will tell you, it wasn't Baby!”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - JULY 24: Jennifer Grey attends the ceremony honoring Kenny Ortega with Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on July 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
Jennifer Grey turned down the opportunity to star in the TV remake. Photo: Getty

Dirty Dancing was hugely successful upon release and grossed more than $214 million (almost $300 million AUD) at the global box office.

It won the best original song Oscar for (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life, performed by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes.

Lionsgate also put out the 2004 prequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, starring Diego Luna and Romola Garai, but it failed to achieve the same success as the original.

Additional reporting by Tom Butler.

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