And so the wheel turns. Some of you might recall that Dirty Dancing was first mooted as a target for a remake back in 2009. Now Lionsgate is lifting the idea above its head as the music swells: the company has hired Kenny Ortega to direct the movie.
The film, which features Jennifer Grey and the late, lamented Patrick Swayze in the iconic roles of a young woman and the hunky, wifebeater-clad dance instructor she falls for, became a huge hit and remains a cult favourite to this day.
While the original production company took years to craft a sequel and collapsed before it arrived, Artisan nabbed the rights and Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was released in 2004, stumbling badly at the box office.
Ortega is something of a symbolic choice, since he was the choreographer on the original 1987 movie. “The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me,” said Ortega in a statement picked up by Deadline. “Growing up in the 60’s on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist. I am looking forward to assembling a great creative team and an exciting cast to bring Dirty Dancing to the screen for a new generation. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.”
Since he moved to directing, Ortega has been responsible for the likes of Newsies, Hocus Pocus and the High School Musical outings on both TV and the big screen. His last movie was the Michael Jackson doc This Is It.
And they didn't even wait to see how the Footloose remake performs... Someone's feeling confident!