The Grease Prequel Summer Lovin’ Will Be A ‘Full On’ Musical, Says Director

Olivia Newton John and John Travolta in Grease
(Image credit: (Paramount))

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s Danny and Sandy song about their summer romance during lunch at Rydell High in the musical Grease is one of Hollywood’s greatest hits. “Summer Nights” has remained so iconic that it’s now the inspiration to a developing Grease prequel titled Summer Lovin’ about the beginnings of the pair’s love story before all those high school politics got in the way. And based on what’s just been confirmed by the film’s director, the upcoming movie has us feeling chills – and they’re multiplying.

Just last month it was announced that Heart Beats Loud director Brett Haley would be helming the Grease prequel, but I’ve been especially curious about whether it would dare to follow up the classic with another musical. Here’s what Haley told CinemaBlend during our recent interview:

I can’t say much about it, but I can tell you, yeah it’s going to be a full-on Grease musical. I can tell fans of the franchise it’s going to be really true to the movie and I also tell people who maybe don’t like musicals that I think it’ll be something that will be a wonderful experience and a wonderful, surprising, fun, feel-good, fully-realized journey. So I’m really excited about what we’re cooking up, and it’s a dream project for me. I feel really honored to have gotten it.

How exciting! Brett Haley has been involved in a number of musically-inclined films over the years, but this will mark his first full-fledged musical, and he’s swinging big as the director of the new Grease installment. Haley reportedly nabbed the job thanks to his passion for the 1978 musical, and certainly provided confidence and excitement when we spoke about it while also discussing All Together Now, his latest coming-of-age drama.

Based on Haley’s comments, he seems to want to bring not only fans of the musical, but general audiences to theaters for Summer Lovin’, which will also be his highest-profile movie he’s ever done. Haley has been making films since 2005, starting off with a number of short and small films before making 2015’s I’ll See You In My Dreams with Blythe Danner and Sam Elliott.

2018’s Hearts Beat Loud, a touching music-driven comedy about a father and daughter (Kiersey Clemons and Nick Offerman) who form a band together, has led the director to make a number of YA tales. Earlier this year he made the Netflix adaptation to All The Bright Places and his latest All Together Now, starring Moana’s Auli’i Cravalho, is based on the 2011 novel Sorta Like A Rockstar. You can check out a bit of our interview below:

What’s proved by Brett Haley’s work thus far, including All Together Now, is his ability to portray teens with sincerity and depth, which the Grease franchise could benefit from with Summer Lovin’. Haley has worked with a number of gifted musicians too, often collaborating with Keegan DeWitt for his scores and original songs for Heart Beats Loud and All Together Now.

We’ll keep you updated on the Grease prequel. You can stream All Together Now on Netflix this Friday, August 28.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.