In hindsight, Step Up was pretty much ahead of its time. Long before dance competitions became a reality-show craze, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan tapped into a Fame-esque vibe that brought cutting edge dance moves into the mainstream. It was sweaty and sexy, and it inspired multiple movie sequels before cooling off. That pause was temporary. We knew for a while that Step Up was returning to the airwaves, this time as a YouTube series. Now, we have a look at the beautiful and talented cast, made up of popular YouTubers.
Singer/songwriter/producer Ne-Yo officially is joining series regulars Glee's Naya Rivera and Elf's Faizon Love for the 10-episode series Step Up: High Water, which will debut on YouTube Red this fall. Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum are reuniting with Adam Shankman as executive producers for the series. And an official press release confirmed that YouTube stars Jade Chynoweth, Lauryn McClain, Petrice Jones, Marcus Mitchell, Carlito Olivero, Terrence Green, Eric Graise and R. Marcos Taylor will be participating in the series.
A recent video showed the cast performing a series of freestyle dance moves, in preparation for the launch of the show:
But that's not all. Step Up: High Water recently confirmed that it will license songs from Atlanta--based artist 2 Chainz and more, while also producing original songs by four-time Grammy-award winning singer/songwriter Jason "PooBear" Boyd and "Jingle" Jared Gutstadt. See? I told you. The Step Up concept is ahead of its time, especially as it comes to musical artists who are involved in its concept.
Making the movie to YouTube is also bold. The Web site has always been working towards increasing its original streaming content, and partnering with proven draws like Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum can only help drive attention to Step Up: High Water. YouTube could be on a path to similar services like Hulu, Amazon and, yes, even Netflix -- destination streaming services that are now investing high dollar amounts into the production and distribution of impressive (and sometimes even award-winning) content.
We're waiting to find out when Step Up: High Water starts streaming on YouTube Red. Right now, all we know is "the Fall." But this video above has us intrigued based on the talents of the dancers involved. What do you think? Will you give Step Up: High Water a chance, at least to see if it rekindles some of the heat and passion that fans associated with the original Step Up series of films?
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.