When it comes to remakes, reboots and sequels, I have a tendency to veer toward an optimistic approach. I figure if some studio's looking to revisit a popular film from yesteryear in some way, I may as well try to find the bright side to the situation. In the case of Lionsgate's plans to reboot Dirty Dancing, the bright side currently comes in the form of screenwriter Brad Falchuk and director Kenny Ortega.
While both have experience with musicals, Ortega has the added value of being a successful and established movie choreographer with a direct connection to the original Emile Ardolino directed film, having done the choreography for the 1987 movie. Meanwhile, as a writer for Glee, Falchuk already has plenty of experience speaking to today's youth. And I like to think that his involvement with FX's American Horror Story could potentially offset whatever High School Musical influences Ortega might slip into the reboot. The brightest side is really the potential of this combination of director and writer. Between the two of them, they have the experience and the know-how to make a good movie.
The other side is the obvious one: Does Dirty Dancing really need to be rebooted? Is there any way to improve it? It seems impossible to imagine that, given how beloved the original remains today. Is there any point in trying to "update" it? I certainly hope that's not the intention, at least when it comes to the 60s setting. And is there any way that the cast could be improved with the reboot? Again, it's difficult to imagine better chemistry than what we saw in Patrick Swayze, as the streetwise and seasoned dancer Johnny Castle, and Jennifer Grey as the innocent-but-determined Frances "Baby" Houseman. It's possible they could find a duo suited as perfectly for each other on screen as Grey and Swayze were in the original, but from what Deadline is reporting, casting has presented an issue, and one that's resulted in a pretty sizable production delay. The site states that the reboot, which was originally supposed to hit theaters next July, is being shelved for now and isn't expected to release until at least 2014 due to "casting reasons."
"Casting reasons" is vague, but the obvious conclusion to jump to is either that they haven't been able to find the right leads, or the ones they want won't be available anytime soon. Or another possible issue is that the actors they want aren't quite old enough just yet. We can only speculate at this point. In the meantime, it looks like the Dirty Dancing reboot is being put in a corner, and in this case, that might not be such a terrible thing, especially if it's because they can't find the right cast.
Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.
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