In August of 2020, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed that an official sequel to the cult-classic Dirty Dancing is on the way. It’s been over 30 years since a new Dirty Dancing film has been made, although there have been some spin-offs including a television show, a stage production, and even a prequel. Jennifer Grey, who plays Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman in the original, confirmed that the sequel will not recast Patrick Swayze’s character Johnny Castle, who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009.
The original romantic comedy told the story of Baby, a high-class girl who visits her family at a resort in upstate New York. While there, Baby becomes friends with the club’s staff, who are dancers. Quickly, Baby begins a romance with the lead dancer Johnny Castle. According to People, Grey is also a producer on the sequel and explained her reasoning for not recasting Swayze’s character: “All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed – you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that. You just go for something different”. Grey also explained why she believes the movie has stayed popular for over three decades: “Its appeal was that it was very genuine and simple. It was about innocence and the way that innocence is lost and how people explode into a different iteration of themselves”. The sequel will be produced by Jonathan Levine with Gillian Bohrer and will feature a screenplay done by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. An official release date has not been confirmed yet.