“Nobody puts Baby in the corner.” Decades after the original film’s release, Dirty Dancing is returning with a highly anticipated sequel.
The 1987 classic followed Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) as she spent the summer with her family at Kellerman’s resort in the Catskills. During her stay, she falls in love with the camp’s dance instructor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze). Between romance and now-iconic dance routines, the story tackled real-life issues like abortion and classism.
“I believe the basic theme of the movie is everybody wants to be seen as being more than what they might appear to be at face value,” the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off actress told Woman’s Day in December 2020. “It’s the idea that transformation is possible with the synergy that happens when somebody else sees something in you that you don’t see, or that you wish someone else could see, and that they don’t change you but the connection creates an opening, a possibility that we are all more than we thought we would be in that limited idea.”
Grey went on to gush over how director Emile Ardolino captured her chemistry with her late costar, who died in 2009 after battling pancreatic cancer. The Dancing With the Stars alum shared a behind-the-scenes secret, revealing that it was actually her breaking character when Baby laughs in a rehearsal montage.
“When you see him tickling me, and you see how frustrated he was when he looks at me because I cannot stop laughing because I’m ticklish — and then as soon as someone tells you not to laugh it makes you almost anxious and you can’t stop laughing — there’s something about that realness of that moment being caught,” Grey added.
Dirty Dancing made over $214 million worldwide following its debut, but a sequel was never confirmed until August 2020. “It’s very early days,” Grey told Woman’s Day. “But I do know that it’s very important to me that certain things are represented, that life is not over and sexuality and pleasure and satisfaction and feeling very alive and excited about what’s coming has got to continue. It cannot be just for the young. It’s about how many times can we recognize that we’ve given up again on ourselves and that there’s more to be excited about, to discover about ourselves, and it’s not over until it’s over.”
While the Out of the Corner author will reprise her role, additional details about casting — and how the sequel plans to honor Johnny — have been kept under wraps. Grey previously praised her costar as “a real cowboy with a tender heart” after he passed away.
“Patrick was a rare and beautiful combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace,” she noted in a 2009 statement. “He was fearless and insisted on always doing his own stunts, so it was not surprising to me that the war he waged on his cancer was so courageous and dignified. … When I think of him, I think of being in his arms when we were kids, dancing, practicing the lift in the freezing lake, having a blast doing this tiny little movie we thought no one would ever see.”
Scroll down for everything to know so far about the long-awaited sequel.
The project was confirmed to be in the works in August 2020. “And to reveal one of the worst-kept secrets in Hollywood, we’re pleased to confirm that Jennifer Grey will both executive produce and star in a new Dirty Dancing movie for Lionsgate,” the studio’s CEO Jon Feltheimer announced in a statement at the time. “It will be exactly the kind of romantic, nostalgic movie that the franchise’s fans have been waiting for and that have made it the biggest-selling library title in the company’s history.”
Grey shared more details of the sequel two years later, telling Good Morning America in May 2022 that the team was “getting as close as we’ve ever been to” production. “I think it’s happening this year,” she teased.
What’s the story?
A plot has yet to be revealed, but Grey told GMA that the story will continue at Kellerman’s. “There will be dancing,” she said. “There will be a lot of music and romance.”
Will Swayze be replaced?
The original Dirty Dancing heartthrob died in 2009, but Grey holds his memory close. “All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed — you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that,” she told People in November 2020 when asked whether a new actor would fill Swayze’s shoes. “You just go for something different.”
Have there been other ‘Dirty Dancing’ movies?
More than 30 years since the first movie debuted, this is the only official sequel. A short-lived TV series based on Dirty Dancing aired for 10 episodes in 1988, and the Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights prequel premiered in 2004. Abigail Breslin later channeled Baby in a 2017 ABC made-for-TV musical.
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Us Weekly.