‘Dirty Dancing’ sequel is moving forward without Johnny Castle, the character originally played by the late Patrick Swayze.
In August, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer surprised fans of the film by reportedly confirming that a follow-up to the 1987 cult-classic was on the way, with Jennifer Grey reprising her role as Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman as well as serving as an executive producer, reports NME.
In an interview with PEOPLE Grey, 60, has now revealed that the film will not recast Patrick Swayze’s character and instead will go in a different direction to its beloved predecessor.
Swayze, who played Baby’s love interest in the original film, sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2009.
“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,” she said.
She also explained why she believes ‘Dirty Dancing’ is still 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 1987 romantic hit which still maintains its magic today reportedly grossed $218m at the global box office off a $5M production cost. The movie earned an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award for the original song ‘(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life’ by Frank Previte, John DeNicola, and Donald Markowitz.
The first ‘Dirty Dancing’ follows Baby (Grey), a high-class girl who visits her family at a resort in upstate New York. While there, she becomes friends with the club’s dancers and becomes smitten with the group’s dance instructor, Johnny Castle (Swayze). Her father opposes their relationship which creates a rift between him and her.
‘Dirty Dancing 2’ will be directed by Warm Bodies‘ Jonathan Levine and Gillian Bohrer and will feature a screenplay done by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.
No official release date has been confirmed yet.