Kenny Ortega set to direct 'Dirty Dancing' remake

Kenny-Ortega

Image Credit: Todd Williamson/WireImage.com

If the song “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” makes you want to twirl across a dance floor, and you know where the line “Nobody puts Baby in a corner” comes from, this news is bound to stir up all kinds of emotions in you: Kenny Ortega has signed on to direct a big-screen remake of the 1987 hit Dirty Dancing. Ortega served as the choreographer on the original film, which starred Jennifer Grey as a wealthy 1960s teen who falls in love with a dance instructor (Patrick Swayze) while spending the summer at a Catskills resort.

Ortega — who most recently directed the documentary Michael Jackson’s This Is It — said in a statement, “The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me…. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can’t wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats.” 

One of the most profitable films of its time, the original Dirty Dancing was made for $6 million and went on to gross $214 million worldwide, spawning a stage adaptation, a TV series, and an unsuccessful 2004 quasi-remake, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, which told a similar story but set the action in Havana on the eve of the Cuban Revolution.

Ortega’s remake will utilize classic songs from the ’60s and the hits from the original movie, as well as new songs. No casting has been announced yet, but feel free to nominate your own picks below. Who should play Baby? And who could possibly fill Swayze’s dance shoes as Johnny Castle?

Update: 15 ‘Baby’ faces demonstrate EW.com reader outrage toward ‘Dirty Dancing’ remake

Read more:
DVD Review: ‘Dirty Dancing: Limited Keepsake Edition’
30 Delightful Dance Scenes
Patrick Swayze: 23 Key Roles

Comments (351 total) Add your comment
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  • Sarah

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • HTC

      I’ll second that.

      • Sparky

        I’l third fourth and fifth that. Doesn’t Hollywood have an original idea at all. Next up they’ll want to remake Top Gun…

      • Elle

        I’ll 6th it. Too soon. They had the horrible just years ago.

      • chiquita

        actually, I heard Top Gun is already in the works of being “re-made” but more like a sequal or something. Last I heard Tom Cruise will only come back as a cameo as long as not a flight instructor. And Footloose too :( So yes..unoriginal hollywood.

      • Lola

        I’ll 7th it. That was exactly my reaction when I read the story.

      • bladerchick

        So, Hollywood is no longer scraping the bottom of the barrel, they have broken through and keep trying to grab. There’s gotta come a point where someone in that meeting had to say “Wait….. Why?”

      • Kal

        8thd.

      • Julia

        I will vingtillionth that. I will certainly not have the time of my life with a remake of Dirty Dancing; those roles belong to Patrick Wayne Swayze and Jennifer Elise Grey, hands down.

      • Tina

        OMG!!! Why oh why?? We have talented writers out there. Why can’t they choose something unique and original!

      • harry

        I Third that!

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        –OMG!!! Why oh why?? We have talented writers out there. Why can’t they choose something unique and original!

    • PCH

      Wasn’t there a TV version of “Dirty Dancing?” I seem to recall it, but I’m not sure. If it existed, it must have failed.

      • Elle

        I meant sequel before. There was a sequel not long ago and it sucked.

      • Maddy

        There was a TV show that aired not after the movie, but it was canceled early on.

    • cohen

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    • Rick

      I loathed the original. But I have to say, after seeing Kenny Wormald in a sneak preview of the Footloose remake a couple of weeks back, I’d suggest him for the lead. He’s a good dancer and a good actor.

    • Color Me Impressed

      As soon as I saw this headline, I was headed over here to say the exact d*mn thing!

    • Jassie

      I can share Ortegas Sentiment on the fIlm — he was the one who choreographed it 25 years ago. He certainly seems the best choice.

      A Remake is always a dangerous project — we are now seeing the remakes of Musicals or Dance Movies – they remaked Footloose & Fame surely Hair, Flashdance & Grease will be next in Line.

      I wonder when they will venture into Rocky Horror Land.

      Truth be told — we all knew that a Dirty Dancing Remake would come sooner rather than later — I believe Kenny could surprise us all (I deeply hope so).

      But is there anyone who could step into Patrick’s Dancing Shoes or Jen’s who could take the role of Penny — truth is no one can, so in my opinion cast people who have not been seen in Musicals or Dance Movies before — cast someone fresh not HSM Material.

      The answere to the casting problem is simply cast fresh and new and most of all put great effort behind it — for the Original has captivated the hearts of so many generations since it was released 25 years ago. Don’t spoil it is all I say.

      XoXo

    • Lily

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! x3

    • Jenny

      I agree! The chemistry between Jennifer and Patrick can’t be matched.

      • courtney

        i totally agree i will not watch the remake of one of my most favorite movies i think it’s bull that they have to start remaking movies that are classics and ruin them by remaking them instead of coming up with something new on there own how rediculous is that?? it’s stupid..and as for footloose no one will do any better than kevin bacon for the lead roll srry

    • wg

      BAD BAD BAD idea. BAD.

    • Terri

      I’ll reiterate! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      BAD IDEA! Very, VERY BAD IDEA!

      There’s enough new ideas and scripts out there that it’s UNNECESSARY to be re-making good films–films that should NEVER BE REMADE!

      • Opiech

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    • Ace

      Agreed! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

    • Sandy

      There is no no no way it would be even close to the original….horrible mistake to try to remake it!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Rebecca

      Agree. Hollywood is lose their touch or else they doon’t know what movies attract audiences anymore. LEAVE originals ALONE!!!!!!!!

    • Zandra

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    • Moaa

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  • Eric

    No one!!!!! Leave this movie alone….It dosent need a remake…. Stop remaking movies!!!!!!

    • Linda

      I AGREE Eric!!

    • Linda

      Right On, Eric!

    • Kate

      I fully agree with this! This does not need to be remade!

    • Eric

      Agree, and now they’re remaking The Bodyguard. Some movies are just fine. Isnt this the guys that choreographed High School Musical and tried to redeem himselm with This Is It (Michael Jackson movie, but Michael did all the work and Kenny just yelled lights, camera, dance)? *sharpening nails getting ready gauge eyes out)

      • allie

        @eric, and kenny directed/choreographed NEWSIES, the best movie musical EVER

      • Zoe

        “NEWSIES, the best movie musical EVER” – really? Just…really? Better than West Side Story? Better than any of the Gene Kelly or Astaire pics? To each her own, I guess. (IMO, the songs in Newsies are some of the most boring crap ever.)

      • ronsgirl0823

        @Zoe – Thank you for bring up West Side Story. That movie is perfect and has not been remade and hopefully never will.

      • Ray

        Holla NEWSIES!!!! Most under rated musical out there. Starring Christian Bale and many others that still have movie careers today. Show NEWSIES some love. Carrying the Banner!

      • Melanie

        Newsies is an excellent movie and I adore it. Kenny Ortega is a wonderful choreographer.

        But this…this is just wrong. Don’t do it, Kenny!

      • RCB

        Yay for Newsies!!! Loved that movie.

    • Sue1

      Thank you, Eric.

      • allie

        @zoe, i love west side story too, but since we’re talking kenny ortega here, i just had to put it :P, mary poppins is also an amazing movie musical

      • Eleno

        Comme je te comprend J’ai actlmuleeent un portable assez simple (tout juste ?cran couleur + sonnerie polyphonique (dont je ne me sers pas)) ce que je cherchais (ils ont pourtant essay? de me vendre un super apareil photo (qui fait portable)), mais m?me comme ?a, la qualit? n’est pas au rendez vous, batterie quasi morte au bout d’un an et un peu plus alors que j’en prend soin Les constructeurs vendent du n’importe quoi, de l’inutile et EN PLUS du pourri qui claque entre les doigts en 2 secondes

  • joey

    Kathryn Mccormick as baby!

    • Ace

      As much as I loathe the idea of a remake, I *would* like to see her in something.

  • Scott

    I’d refrain from the overuse “Hollywood has run out of ideas” commentary, but this applies here.

    They can’t be serious.

    • Deke

      I’m running out of ways to say that Hollywood has run out of ideas.

      • Templar

        How about : The barrel, now empty, fell over and rolled downhill. Producers are excavating the muddy ground where the barrel previously stood.

    • MaggieQuack

      I agree.. Come up with something Original and stop trying to succeed on the backs of successful classics!

  • Tom Bregeron

    Barf

  • wierdalexj

    I just threw up in my mouth. Not because I like the movie but because I can never get away from that stupid sdtrk and people quoting lines from it.

    ENOUGH!!!!

    • Lia

      Agreed!

      • Nabilla

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    • Mitch

      Leuk om vanaf de andere kant van de welerd toch iets van Brielle te zien, ondanks de schokkerige vertraagde beelden, . Wij hier lekker in de zon, en jullie door de sneeuw ploeteren. Hoop voor jullie dat de sneeuw nu snel verdwijnt.

  • S

    This finally proves to me that there is no God. Why must Hollywood remake everything? Vomit!

    • moasey

      THIS proves to you that there is no god? A Movie?

      • Templar

        Rent The Devil’s Advocate.

  • Liz

    NOOO!

  • Meg

    It’s been proven time and time again that Hollywood will never stop remaking well-known properties. Now, there used to be a time, when the only films remade were the unknown, the obscure, the crappy. But lately…there are no sacred cows anymore: they remade PSYCHO, for crying out loud. Now, Dirty Dancing is not a masterpiece, but it is one of those films that is beloved and cherished because of various elements that came together and worked like magic. Tell me how in hell will they replicate the magic, the utterly charming delight that was the chemistry between Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze? How will they recapture the pleasures of that soundtrack and that moment in time? Well, they didn’t learn with the failed FAME remake, now they have a FOOTLOOSE reimagining about to open, and DIRTY DANCING in the works. I will not be surprised if they announce FLASHDANCE as the next beloved eighties dance-flick to be dusted off and re-envisioned.

    • Troy Soldier

      I saw the “Fame” reboot. It wasn’t good, but it wasn’t nearly as awful as I expected (Kelsey Grammer should be forced to return his paycheck. He didn’t even try to look like he cared.) Still, Alan Parker’s “Fame” (one of my favorite films) was a movie of its era. It was also a rougher one than most people remember. It was rated R for many good reasons: nudity, profanity, implied abortion, racial slurs, suicide attempt, pornography, drug use, etc. Yeah, the gay character’s coming out seems kind of cute these days, but back then it was a big deal. “Dirty Dancing” is also a product of its era. A remake could never capture its charm. Leave it alone.

      • Stacey

        My problem with the Fame remake was that it skimped. So much focus on the first year. But the rest of the years were quickly skipped by. It should have been longer, and really focused on dancing, singing and the arts. There are so many dancing shows now, singing contests. I know they were trying to be true to the first one. But it should have been longer, and more grittier. It played too safe!

      • Deke

        @Stacey: The new “Fame” seemed more like a film version of the TV show than a remake of the original movie. You’re right: It played it way too safe.

    • Angie

      Doesn’t anyone out there have any NEW ideas? why keep remaking good movies? I can’t imagine Dirty Dancing w/out Patrick Swayze…& don’t think I would go see it either :(

    • kahuna

      Remakes have been made since silent movies. There were silent remakes of silent movies. Some movies that are produced today are third and fourth remakes of silent movies. There will always be a new audience for a good and timeless story.

    • Monirul

      Je rench?ris en parlant du march? des pnorsenes que la technologie rebute. Je n’ai aucun probl?me ? m’adapter ? de nouveaux menus tordus ou ? pousser sur le bouton vert pendant 5 secondes pour pouvoir enfin enregistrer un message vocal mais ce n’est pas le cas de tout le monde. Inutile d’envoyer des SMS ? mes parents, la plupart du temps, ils ne se rendent m?me pas compte qu’ils en ont re?u un. Quand ils doivent consulter le journal des appels, il demandent ? leur enfants de le faire. Nombre de gens ont leurs appareils qui clignotent sur 00:00 jusqu’? ce que le petit neveu/voisin/petit-fils/ vienne le r?gler pour eux. Ces gens-l? ne comprennent pas pourquoi il faut un bouton rouge et un bouton vert, pourquoi il faut appuyer sur le bouton pour d?crocher APRES avoir compos? le num?ro de t?l?phone, Je cherche aussi un tel t?l?phone pour ma voisine, alors je suis ouvert au suggestions.

  • Mark

    “Who should play Baby? And who could best fill Swayze’s dance shoes as Johnny Castle?”

    Um, how about NOBODY? “Dirty Dancing” was a charming film that frankly, worked best because of the explosive chemistry between its two leads, who had personality to spare. I can imagine this version will be cast with two bland refugees from the CW who will dance to a quasi-hip hop soundtrack and will have the chemistry of plain yogurt and two-day-old pizza.

    • Darin

      well said!

      • Atena

        My problem is I don’t exaclty know how to get started. What is the first step, and the subsequent steps. While Im trying to understand while reading I think there is too much imformation on what thr individual make instead of how to make the money or even getting started making the money. I need help.

    • Angie

      agree

    • Liz

      You can say that again! There is only one Patrick Swayze & one Jennifer Grey!
      That film is cult, don’t touch it!

    • Russ

      Bingo!

  • ikagirl

    No. Just no. Stop the madness!

  • Christie Robin

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! WHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!! no one can even compare to patrick swayze….

    • amber

      agree!!

  • Lori

    Derek Hough for Johnny. No one can fill Patrick’s shoes but he can act, sing and dance. Multiple Emmy nominated choreographer too.

    • mags

      D H is about as sexy as an over ripe avocado! Nooooooooooo remake please!!

      • Sara

        Concur! Derek Hough? EWWwww!

    • Hi

      I like this pick! Yes, dereck hough!

    • Jenny

      Yuck! He’s not good looking at all!

    • Lyn

      Derek Hough?! I woud find that BEYOND disturbing as his sister is already playing Ren’s romantic interest in the film. But that may also appeal to certain “groups”.

  • Am

    NOOO!!!! since facebook worked to get Betty White to host SNL. SOMEONE MAKE A DO NOT TOUCH THIS MOVIE! PAGE ON FACEBOOK> leave it alone!!!!!!

    • Anon

      Go for it!

  • Matt Damon

    I think the question everyone wants to know is….will Baby wear a mask with cat ears or will she just wear 3D glasses?

    • Angie

      lolololol

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