‘High School Musical’ Helmer is Directing the ‘Dirty Dancing’ Remake

Published 4 years ago by

Dirty Dancing remake bein directed by Kenny Ortega High School Musical Helmer is Directing the Dirty Dancing Remake

Those of you who were hoping that Hollywood’s 1980s remake fever was starting to abate… well, this story isn’t for you.

A remake of the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing has been in the works since at least 2009 – and, just like the reworking of fellow 80s relic Short Circuit, studio heads are hoping to jump-start development of the project by hiring on a new director.

Deadline has learned that original Dirty Dancing choreographer Kenny Ortega has landed the job of helming the remake. Nowadays, Ortega is better known as the helmer/dance supervisor of squeaky-clean Disney musicals like Newsies and all three High School Musical movies.

Jennifer Grey – who recently re-teamed with Ortega for her winning routine on Dancing With the Stars – and Patrick Swayze starred in the original Dirty Dancing, which was an immensely lucrative undertaking ($6 million cost, $214 million worldwide gross) back in the 80s. A sequel with a different cast was eventually released, titled Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, in 2004. Suffice it to say, lightning didn’t strike twice.

Dirty Dancing features an “opposites attract” romantic plot that revolves around Grey’s spoiled rich girl and Swayze as the smooth dance instructor, who teams up with her for some risque moves on (and off) the dance floor. The remake will presumably not deviate far from that tried-and-true formula.

Footloose remake trailer High School Musical Helmer is Directing the Dirty Dancing Remake

'Footloose', circa 2011

Like every upcoming or in-development 80s movie remake out there, Ortega’s Dirty Dancing will attempt to appeal to a new generation of moviegoers by offering an updated and “contemporary” spin on its predecessor. Here, the now overused “darker and grittier” approach wouldn’t make so much sense – rather, the “more hip and gritty” tactic that this year’s Footloose remake appears to be employing is probably more akin to what Ortega has in mind.

Don’t expect Dirty Dancing to be too “edgy”, though. Ortega was presumably hired in part because of his proven track record, when it comes to designing song & dance pictures with more family-friendly appeal. So his remake could end up feeling like a “nicer” version of, say, the Step Up movies, when all is said and done.

Just for the record: as last year’s Karate Kid remake demonstrated, not all re-workings of famous 80s titles are necessarily doomed to become stains on their predecessor’s legacy – sometimes, they even turn out to be solid films that stand out on their own. Best to keep that in mind while reading about Dirty Dancing, RoboCop, WarGames, or any of the other 80s remakes on the horizon.

Dirty Dancing is currently being fast-tracked for production. As always, we’ll keep you posted.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Kenny Ortega is alright, but they just shouldn’t be remaking it. Everyone will probably give him a hard time, and the replacements probably won’t live up to Grey and Swayze. I wonder if they’ll get Chris Hemsworth to replace Swayze now that he’s replacing him in Red Dawn. Just a thought, but it’ll probably be Zac Efron.

  2. As long as the don’t remake The Godfather, Back to the Future, and Star Wars, I’m good.

    • oh, its coming

  3. Sad…very, very, very, Bleeping sad. Mind you though I pretty much can’t be surprised by this news. The final straw for me was hearing that they’re remaking Lethal Weapon… Any chance the people behind that idea came to their bloody senses? I know, it’s too much to hope for. Tv shows re-done for film was and is acceptable (except for Starsky & Hutch, and anything in that vein) but re-doing films that were hits? Do they think they can do it better? No, it’s just about money. Well, they won’t be getting any of mine. Long live the originals, that’s what I say. I’d love to hear what Dennis Leary’s take on all of this is. At least than I could probably laugh. Anyway, take care fellow ‘scranters’.

  4. May be they should make a true sequel instead, Bring in Jennifer Grey, have her grandoughter meet some friends that introduce her to reggaeton. it’s got to have some kind of dirty dancing in it, otherwise just call it step up.

  5. This movie is a classic, what going to be remake next?

    The Goonies, E.T., Gremlins, Blade Runner etc.

    Why can’t the studios make a video game movie adaptions or remake awful movies.

  6. This makes me sick, what is wrong with the film industry.

  7. Ugh.

    I never watched the original but this disgusts me.

  8. I have to say it….again. Hollywood is out of ideas. I am not a huge Dirty Dancing fan but I understand that its a classic and there is no reason to remake this. I think I have out grown hollywood.

  9. WHY?….

  10. I love Dance-Movies!!!! <3

  11. Stupid!!