EXCLUSIVE: Long shot and Warm bodies film director Jonathan Levin was appointed director of the noisy sequel to his 1987 favorite film Dirty dancingwhich Lionsgate launches at Cannes Market next week.
In an exclusive Deadline interview, Levin discussed the hot market package and revealed details of the film’s creative direction.
Levin co-authored a sequel, also named Dirty dancing, with Elizabeth Chomko. Casting talks are underway – the team has a shortlist of names to play the lead – and the film is expected to begin later this year and be released in 2024. It is expected that the cast will be a combination of beginners and named actors.
Jennifer Gray may not be the only person from the original who has returned, Levin told us. “We’re going to talk to people and study it,” he said 50/50 said the director.
“The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board. She is an invaluable employee. We will try to attract as many people as possible from the original. We want to be respectful in all respects. “
That includes a conversation with Patrick Swayze’s estate, Levin said. “Johnny is part of Baby’s journey in history.”
He told us: “This film exists in dialogue with the original. We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation. However, the absence of Johnny hangs over the story, so it is a story of maturation, but in a sense, the maturation of the character Baby.
The music in the film will vary from the songs from the original film (Hungry eyes is one of the songs that should return) in the hip-hop of the 90s. Levin also named Alanis Marisette and Liz Fair as performers whose songs could potentially appear.
Previously, Levin was going to produce the project through his banner Megamix together with his partner-producer Gillian Borer, but now the film director has also decided to direct the film. Gray will also be the executive producer of the sequel.
“While the original Dirty Dancing has always been one of my favorite films, I never thought I would direct a sequel, “said Levin.” While co-writing it, I fell in love with the characters (new and old), the world of Catskills New York in the 1990s and music that will ranging from songs from the original film to 90s hip-hop, I can’t wait to work with Jennifer to bring this beautiful story of summer, romance and dance to a generation of new fans. we will solve the task with refinement, ambition and, above all, with love. “
Dirty Dancing is the best-selling library in Lionsgate history. The 1987 original starring Gray and Patrick Swayze became a global release and garnered a hot base of fans around the world.
Commenting on Levin’s appointment as director, Erin Westerman, president of Lionsgate Production, said: “Dirty Dancing it is more than a movie – it is a cultural touchstone that continues to be a rite of passage. As we approached the next chapter, we realized we needed to honor the depth, relevance, and fervor of the original. We’re lucky with Jennifer as a guide, and we’re thrilled to have Jonathan next to her at the helm, because everything he does has a textural and romantic substance – he always makes us goosebumps. ”