HBO Max orders Grease: Rydell High, a musical TV series spinoff to the iconic film. Released in 1978, Paramount struck a high note with the adaptation of the Grease Broadway musical for the big screen. Starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, Grease - and the soundtrack album - became a global smash hit.
Directed by Randal Kleiser, Grease follows star-crossed lovers Danny Zuko (Travolta) and Sandy Olsson (Newton-John). After a summer fling in 1958, Danny and Sandy separate, only to unexpectedly reunite for a senior term at Rydell High School. Classified as a “greaser”, Danny is flanked by members of the T-birds and forced to maintain his bad-boy reputation, becoming dismissive of virtuous Sandy. Helmed by sarcastic Rizzo (Stockard Channing), the Pink Ladies adopt Sandy into their group, spicing up the halls of Rydell High School. Touching on issues of peer pressure, the horrors of high-school, and life in middle America, Grease has spanned generations. Grease 2, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield, released in 1982, although the film was less acclaimed than its predecessor. Earlier this year, Paramount announced a Grease prequel film titled Summer Loving, which is currently in development.
Now, HBO Max plans to riddle the halls of Rydell High with musical numbers yet again. A live-action TV spinoff of Grease, titled Grease: Rydell High, is coming to fruition. Produced by Paramount Television, Rydell High will be set in the 1950s, toting musical numbers from the era along with new original songs. Ordered straight to series, Rydell High will reimagine the original Grease movie and feature some familiar characters. As of this writing, Rydell High is on the hunt for a writer, episode count, and premiere date. Head of content at HBO Max, Sarah Aubrey, expressed her excitement about the upcoming spinoff:
"‘Grease’ is an iconic pop-culture phenomenon that works for every generation, and I’m thrilled that our friends at Paramount were excited about the idea of opening up the show and putting it on a larger canvas for a weekly series. It’s Grease 2.0 but with the same spirit, energy and excitement you immediately think of when you hear any of these iconic songs. You’re The One That I Want!"
Hailed from the creative minds behind Fox’s Emmy-winning Grease: Live, Rydell High is forbidden from featuring tunes “Greased Lightning” or "Summer Nights”, as the rights are being withheld by the estate representing composers Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Rydell High will join HBO Max’s impressive catalog, which includes the revival of Gossip Girl, an animated Gremlins series, and Game of Thrones. HBO Max is expected to launch in spring 2020.
Musical lovers itching for a weekly dose of song and dance should delight at the concept of a spinoff from one of the most popular musicals of all time. A crucial selling point of Grease: Rydell High will be the cast tapped to portray the titular students. Currently, character details are shrouded in mystery, and it remains to be seen if stars from Grease (such as Travolta and Channing) will grace the halls of Rydell High once more. No doubt the musical series Grease: Rydell High will bring variation, recollection, and animation to HBO Max.
Source: HBO Max/WarnerMedia