Lionsgate has announced that the forthcoming Dirty Dancing sequel will be directed by Warm Bodies and Long Shot director Jonathan Levine. Though Levine was originally only set to produce the movie with his Megamix production banner, he has decided to also direct the sequel.
The film will feature the return of Jennifer Grey, who will once again play Frances “Baby” Houseman in the upcoming sequel. She will also executive produce the movie, and co-wrote the screenplay with Elizabeth Chomko.
The sequel to Dirty Dancing is expected to go into production later this year, with a 2024 planned release window.
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel,” Levine stated. “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 to bring this beautiful story of summer and romance and dancing to a generation of new fans. 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.”
The original Dirty Dancing released in 1987 and starred Patrick Swayze and Grey as star-crossed would-be lovers who unite to perform the last big dance of the summer, despite the disapproval of the latter’s father. Directed by Emile Ardolino, the film would go on to gross $218 million at the global box office against a $5 million budget and land a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for its song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” The two leads also earned Golden Globe nominations for their performances.