CATEGORIES Movie NewsHollywood always has nice consolation prizes for its talent. Kenny Ortega, the innovative choreographer who helped put Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey on the map by choreographing the grinding dance action that made the 1987 Emile Ardolino-helmed 'Dirty Dancing' a major hit, has been tapped by Lionsgate to direct the remake. A consolation prize? Well, a couple of years ago he had been promised the helm of the remake of 'Footloose,' which was to star Zac Efron in the lead, but that deal fell though (the film will be released Oct. 14 with Kenny Wormald taking on the famous Kevin Bacon role).
Vestron Pictures, which began as a home video outfit in the early 1980s, made 'Dirty Dancing' but folded before it could make a sequel -- it was almost 17 years before 'Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,' was made by Veston's successor, Artisan, which also folded; the film was distributed by Lionsgate and bombed. But Lionsgate kept the rights, and is now moving forward with the remake.
Ortega, of course, went on to direct a couple episodes of the 'Dirty Dancing' TV series, all three 'High School Musical' productions (two TV features and a movie), the 'XIX Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony' and, of course, the Michael Jackson documentary 'This Is It.'
No cast or screenwriter has been announced. It will be interesting to see how a 21st century 'Dirty Dancing' will play out -- will electo-trance-hip-hop be the music/dance of choice? If you remember, the original was about a naive young girl on vacation with her parents in the Catskills who gets initiated into the world of suggestive dancing (and sex) by a very hot dance instructor. Where will the film take place? Are there still naive young girls vacationing in the Catskills? What do you think?