Lionsgate is making a new dance movie starring and executive produced by Jennifer Grey, leading to speculation that the mysterious project could be a Dirty Dancing sequel. The beloved 1987 movie already had a sequel, but it had very little to do with the story of people having the time of their lives in the Catskills. Coincidentally, the news about the mysterious dance movie comes just as the Virginia lake where Dirty Dancing was filmed has begun to fill up after drying up over a decade ago.
Sources told Deadline that the new dance movie is set in the 1990s, about 30 years after the events in Dirty Dancing. Details on the project are scarce and sources did not confirm if this is really a follow-up or reboot to Dirty Dancing. The project was written by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis and is being produced by Jonathan Levine and Gillian Bohrer of Megamix.
Lionsgate holds the distribution rights for the Dirty Dancing franchise, which kicked off in 1987. Grey starred as Frances "Baby" Houseman, whose family visits the Catskills during the summer of 1963. Once there, she rebels against her father (Jerry Orbach) and falls in love with a member of the resort's working-class staff, Johnny, played by the late Patrick Swayze. Although the film was not critically acclaimed when it was released, Dirty Dancing was an astonishing box office success worldwide. Its soundtrack was the first ever to sell over 1 million copies and features the Oscar-winning "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." The film remains a part of the pop culture, with dozens of famous lines and unforgettable images.
The franchise has already seen a sequel. In 2004, Lionsgate released Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, which was a critical and financial flop. The movie, featuring Diego Luna and Romola Farai, grossed just $25 million. In 2017, ABC aired a TV remake, featuring Abigail Breslin, Colt Prattes, Debra Messing and Nicole Scherzinger.
In a weird coincidence, Deadline's report was published the same week the lake at Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke, Virginia began rising again, 12 years after drying up, reports WSLS. Scientists discovered that the lake bed has a natural cycle of drying up and hits a major low every 400 years. Dirty Dancing was filmed there, and the film's fans have turned it into a tourist destination.
"It's about a third full right now and it seems to be holding," Mountain Lake Lodge General Manager Heidi Stone told CNN. "It's very exciting. The guests get very excited because for so many years it's been dry and looked more like a meadow. It's the prettiest when it's filled with water."