Sounds like Baby’s going dancing with her instructor at summer camp again. But this time, Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens, Little Miss Sunshine) will play the lead character in the recently-announced ABC TV remake of Dirty Dancing. Jessica Sharzer (American Horror Story) will write the script for the three-hour reboot, which will be a musical adaptation that will be taped, rather than broadcast live like other TV musicals (ala The Wiz Live!), according to Variety.
The original Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey-starring movie from 1987 became a massive hit grossing $214 million even though it was produced as a low-budget film. A big part of the appeal was the on-screen chemistry between the hot young stars, especially during their famed water scene, and last dance. There’s no word yet as to who will star opposite Breslin in the crucial male role.
The new Baby shouldn’t worry too much if her dancing skills aren’t up to snuff when compared to the original star, however. Jennifer Grey told Time Magazine in 2012, “The only time I’ve ever danced everyday was during Dancing with the Stars and in the two-week rehearsal for Dirty Dancing and that was only to do a particular dance. I go to a dance class now, once a week, and I can’t get the combination. I kid you not.”
Peer Astrom and Adam Anders, both of whom worked on Glee, will create the soundtrack for the reboot. It’s certainly a difficult task considering the legacy of Jimmy Ienner’s original soundtrack featuring the Golden Globe, Oscar, and Grammy-winning ’80s ballad (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.
Dirty Dancing’s original screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein will executive produce the remake with Allison Shearmur (The Hunger Games). Adam Anders and Judy Cairo will produce. Andy Blankenbuehler (Hamilton) will choreograph.
Swayze’s role as dance instructor Johnny Castle is up for grabs, but “there is a wish list of high-profile talent” according to Variety. ABC hasn’t yet announced a release date for the TV musical.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the Lionsgate TV project has been in the works for awhile: the company had announced plans to remake Dirty Dancing with Kenny Ortega to direct back in 2011 before shelving it in 2012.