It would certainly be fair to argue that a film like Dirty Dancing doesn’t need a remake. The coming of age tale, which incorporates dancing and a love story between two people from different worlds, is fine as is, and it’s difficult to see how updating it could improve on the film. With that said, Lionsgate is certainly aiming for the right kind of talent with this project. Tapping the original film’s choreographer, Kenny Ortega to helm the film does instill confidence that a person with directing experience and a proven passion for dance will be at the wheel. The project’s recently acquired writer also happens to know a little something about musicals, which may also prove beneficial here.

Variety reports that Brad Falchuk has been signed on to write the screenplay for the film, which is described as “musical reimagining inspired by the popular 1987 pic starring Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze.” The movie will include songs from the ‘60s, tunes from the original film, as well as original compositions. Lionsgate is aiming for a July 2013 release for the film.

To me, words like “reimagining” and “inspired by” open up the whole world of possibilities for the story, which may or may not be a good thing for this movie. In other words, we may not be dealing with a straight-up remake here, but rather, a story that could incorporate similar elements from the original film (among which are the dancing, Baby’s relationship with her father, her romantic and sexual awakening with dance instructor Johnny, etc), while also taking its own direction. The mention of the inclusion of 1960’s music does imply that this will be a period piece.

Brad Falchuk seems like a solid choice to pen the remake, given his involvement in the creation of Fox’s popular musical Glee, but he also has a demonstrated dark side, having also written for (and in the case of AHS, co-created), FX’s American Horror Story and Nip/Tuck. It’d be interesting if a bit of that edginess managed to creep its way into the Dirty Dancing script. At the very least, Falchuk’s demonstrated dark-and-twisty side as a writer might serve to offset Kenny Ortega’s far lighter musically-themed work of late, which includes directing all three High School Musical movies. Between the two of them, there’s the potential for something really good here. (Or else, this is my attempt at optimism in the face of yet another remake...)

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