Dirty Dancing TV Adaptation Released this month!
Who can ever forget the original Dirty Dancing, the classic love-story filled with phenomenal dance numbers, choreographed by Kenny Ortega back in 1987.
The original movie, which starred Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze, was made for around $6 million and went on to make more than $200 million in worldwide box office. The film is set in the early 1960s and centres on Baby, an innocent young woman who vacations with her affluent parents at a Catskill Mountains resort and gets swept off her feet by Johnny, a handsome, working-class dance instructor.
Here at Mark Summers Casting & Management we were excited by the news in August 2011, that the brilliant Kenny Ortega, one of our long-term collaborators, was set to direct a remake for Lionsgate.
‘We believe that the timing couldn’t be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm,’ Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group, explained about the project.
Then we heard it had been put on hold without any explanations…
In the meantime, in December 2015, ABC ordered a three-hour musical remake of Dirty Dancing with Australian director Wayne Blair at the helm and starring Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens, Little Miss Sunshine), Colt Prattes, Debra Messing (Will and Grace), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family), Nicole Scherzinger, Billy Dee Williams & Shane Harper.
Choreography will be by Luis Salgado and Andy Blankenbaehler of Hamilton and In the Heights fame.
Arguably it will be Colt Prattes that has the biggest shoes to fill as dance teacher Johnny Castle, made famously iconic by Patrick Swayze.
Prattes was initially noted for his toned physique and dance skills in Pink’s 2012 music video for her single Try, but he also has Broadway experience with featured roles in West Side Story, How To Succeed In Business, A Chorus Line and High School Musical. He recently played Stacee Jaxx in the Las Vegas production of the Broadway hit Rock Of Ages.
The film will also star Debra Messing as Baby’s mum, Marjorie Houseman, and the actress recently opened up about her new role, telling ABC: “I remember being a kid when it came out and sitting in the movie theatre and thinking, ‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen a leading lady who isn’t perfect.’ It was a turning point for me. Like I thought, ‘Oh, I’m Jewish and I’m awkward, oh I’m Baby!”
According to Debra, the new adaptation of the film will be a ‘tribute’ to Patrick Swayze, who sadly passed away after battling pancreatic cancer in 2009.
She also confirmed that although the TV version will be very different, and aims to look at Baby’s parents and ‘what happens to Baby and Johnny after the original movie ends’, it will still include some of the original film’s most iconic moments.
We will be very interested to see how it turns out and are always delighted when dance features prominently on film and television.
This adaptation will air in the US on Wednesday 24 May.