Dirty Dancing sequel starring Jennifer Grey set in the 1990s is confirmed - full plot details revealed

10 May 2022, 10:33

By Mayer Nissim

Baby comes out of the corner once more for a sequel set in the 1990s.

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When it was released in 1987, Dirty Dancing swiftly became a box office hit and a home video smash.

There was a better best forgotten spinoff Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights in 2004 and a 2017 TV remake, but the film is now getting a proper sequel, with Jennifer Grey reprising her central role as Frances 'Baby' Houseman and also executive-producing the project.

The film was first confirmed in 2020, and we've now been given more details about the sequel, including what it will be about and when we're likely to see it.

The Dirty Dancing sequel will also be called Dirty Dancing. It will be directed by Jonathan Levine and will be set in the 1990s.

Like the first film, it will feature a young woman at the Catskills holiday resort who has a coming-of-age-romance, Deadline reports, with this story intertwining with the now grown-up Baby's own journey.

Dirty Dancing (1987)
Dirty Dancing (1987). Picture: Alamy

The soundtrack will feature songs from the original film like 'Hungry Eyes', as well as '90s songs, potentially including the likes of Alanis Morissette and Liz Phair and even some even hip-hop numbers.

"The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board," said Levine, who has also co-written the screenplay with Elizabeth Chomko.

"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."

He added that the team is "exploring" the return of other actors from the original 1987 film, but one key player of course will be absent.

Patrick Swayze, who played co-lead Johnny, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.

Levine said: "This film exists in a dialogue with the original. We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation.

"That said, Johnny’s absence looms large over the story, so it’s a coming-of-age story but also a coming-of-age for Baby’s character in a way."

He added that "Johnny is a part of Baby's journey in the story" and that discussions would be had with Swayze's estate on how to incorporate him into the film.

Levine continued: "While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favourite films, I never imagined I would direct the sequel.

"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."

Jennifer Grey at the Captain Marvel movie premiere in 2019
Jennifer Grey at the Captain Marvel movie premiere in 2019. Picture: Alamy

He added: "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."

Lionsgate’s President of Production Erin Westerman, said: "Dirty Dancing is more than a movie – it's a cultural touchstone that continues to be a rite of passage.

"As we approach the next chapter, we knew we had to honor the depth, the relevance, and the heat of the original."

He added: "We've been lucky to have Jennifer as our guide and are thrilled to have Jonathan by her side at the helm, because everything he makes is textured and romantic – he always gives us goosebumps."

As well as the 2004 spinoff and 2017 TV movie remake, Dirty Dancing previously spawned a 1988 stage show Dirty Dancing: Live in Concert, with a CBS TV series airing the same year.

It also was adapted for the theatre in 2004's Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage.