It looks like Baby’s gonna have to stay in the corner for a while longer. Deadline reports that Lionsgate has decided to put their upcoming Dirty Dancing remake on hold for another year. Apparently the delay can be chalked up to “casting issues,” though no cast has yet to be announced. It’s possible that director Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) has an eye on a couple of actors who won’t be available for a while, but the report doesn’t specify exactly what the hold up is.
Glee and American Horror Story co-creator/co-showrunner Brad Falchuk is writing the script, and it appears that Ortega is still attached to direct for the time being. The film was set for release in July 2013, and the pic is said to include 1960s hit songs, cuts from the original soundtrack, and new compositions. Baby is now slated to have the time of her life at a future date TBD.
Earlier this month, we reported that High School Musical director Kenny Ortega would helm the remake of Dirty Dancing. Now Deadline is reporting that Monte Carlo screenwriter Maria Maggenti will handle the script. The original story revolved around Frances (aka “Baby” and played in the original by Jennifer Grey), a young, upscale teen going to holiday camp over the summer with her family. There she meets and falls for the camp’s handsome, slightly-brooding dance instructor (originally played by Patrick Swayze). At the end of the film, she’s had the time of her life and never felt that way before.
I’m not sure what Ortega and Maggenti’s take on the new version will be, but I’m hoping that what I liked about the original—that Swayze’s character is basically the girl and Baby is the dominant one no matter how many corners she may be pushed into—will remain in the remake. Dirty Dancing is the latest gig for Maggenti who also wrote an adaptation of Before I Fall and is finishing up My Name Is Memory.
With Craig Brewer’s Footloose remake on the way, you can bet your ass that other 1980’s movie about dancing is getting a remake as well. Deadline reports that Lionsgate has set Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) to direct a remake of Dirty Dancing. We actually have Ortega to thank for those taboo dance moves, as he was the choreographer of the 1987 film. Lionsgate is taking a mulligan on the franchise after the 2004 sequel Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was a bit of a bomb upon its release.
Ortega was actually set to direct the Footloose remake, but eventually dropped out and Brewer and newcomer Kenny Wormald took over (believe it or not, that film is getting some fantastic word-of-mouth). There are no casting decisions or screenwriter announcements for Dirty Dancing as of yet, but the report states that it’s a high priority for Lionsgate so expect things to move quickly.
It’s been over a year now since Michael Jackson passed away, but Jackson’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down. Today, we have news that GK Films is developing a feature film based off of Jackson’s iconic music video, Thriller. The film will be written by Jeremy Garelick (The Hangover) and will focus on “the song’s folklore, involving Vincent Price and the town he grew up in”. Kenny Ortega, who directed Jackson’s posthumous concert film This is It, has signed on to helm the film. Hit the jump for a reminder of Thriller’s awesomeness along with some news on what other Jackson projects are in the works.
A star-studded tribute was announced today to honor 35 years of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Rocky Horror Picture Show Tribute is being produced by Lou Adler and Kevin Duncan while being directed by Kenny Ortega. Several stars have already signed on to play in this event, including acting legends Danny DeVito, Jack Nicholson, singer Billy Idol, actor Jason Segel and Glee stars Lea Michele and Matthew Morrison. According to LeaMichele.org, Michele and Morrison will step into the roles of Brad and Janet with Segel taking on the role of Dr. Scott. All proceeds from the event will benefit The Painted Turtle, one of Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camps. Read more after the jump.
After Zac Efron and Chace Crawford signed on for and then subsequently dropped out of the forthcoming remake of the dance flick Footloose, the nostalgia piece has been in need of a rhythmic star. Paramount may have just found one in Thomas Dekker. The 22-year-old Dekker has been building a name for himself with series stints on Heroes and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and recently starred in the Nightmare on Elm Street remake. Plus, good buzz surrounds his role in the Cannes film Kaboom, so Dekker has merited consideration for the lead role of Ren McCormack.
In the 1984 original, it was a young Kevin Bacon who played Ren, a “dance-happy outsider who shakes up a small town” [24 Frames]. Like his HSM star, director Kenny Ortega boarded then departed the remake over the last year, while Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) took over the reins. Paramount just announced a casting call for Footloose with intent to shoot this summer, suggesting casting notices will soon be official. Hit the jump for a synopsis of the original, plus my choice for the lead role.
Footloose is one of those projects that Paramount has been trying to get off the ground for a long time. Originally, the studio had High School Musical director Kenny Ortega attached to the project with Zac Efron as the lead. Efron then dropped out and Chace Crawford (Gossip Girl) stepped in. A little while later, both Kenny Ortega and Crawford dropped out and the studio brought in director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow). But with the way the project has played musical chairs, many figured another problem was just around the corner.
But…Paramount has just announced a casting call for Footloose and the announcement says they are filming this summer. A studio doesn’t make this kind of announcement unless things are really moving forward. So do you “have natural rhythm” and are you comfortable dancing? If you do…hit the jump:
Last October, we reported that director Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) may be stepping in to replace High School Musical director Kenny Ortega. Variety now confirms that Brewer will take the helm and use his rewritten script. However, the film once again is looking for a lead after lead Chace Crawford dropped out due to a scheduling conflict with Gossip Girl. Crawford stepped in to replace Zac Efron who was was originally set to star but dropped out in March 2009 due to his fear he may end up being typecast. Brewer’s remake will focus more on the drama of the original film-which starred Kevin Bacon as city kid who moves to a conservative town that has banned dancing and rock music-rather than elaborate musical numbers.
Brewer also has the action-comedy Mother Trucker in the pipeline, but will make Footloose his next picture. That’s a shame because Mother Trucker sounds so much better. It’s about a man who escapes from prison, hijacks an 18-wheeler, and races across the South to see his dying mother.
In an effort to bring the Tony Award winning musical In the Heights to the big screen as soon as possible, Variety reports Universal has brought on screenwriter Marc Klein (A Good Year, Serendipity) to write a screenplay that can shoot this summer. Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, This Is It) is still scheduled to direct.
The show, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is set in the Washington Heights section of New York and centers on a bodega owner named Usnavi (which will also be played by Miranda) who contemplates leaving the tight knit neighborhood when his grandmother wins the lotto. It has a very modern, hip hop influenced score and remains a big hit on Broadway. The film will reportedly contain most of the original songs and at least one new one.
In the Heights is just one of several musicals Universal is currently developing. Others include a sequel to their smash Mamma Mia, Wicked and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
Variety is reporting that director/choreographer Kenny Ortega (High School Musical, This is It) will now helm the big screen adaptation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, In the Heights, after leaving the planned Footloose remake earlier this year. The musical covers three days in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, “where a bodega owner who inherited his grandfather’s lottery windfall plots his retirement to a Dominican Republic beach. As he bids farewell to his customers on the block, he becomes conflicted about leaving behind a group that has become family.” Lin-Manuel Miranda will reprise his starring role (he also wrote the lyrics and music) and Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the show, will be adapting the script to the screen.
Universal will be producing the film and I have to give them some credit for not deciding to replace Miranda with a big name star. The film is part of Universal’s plan to make more musicals after the success that they have had recently at the box office with such films as Mamma Mia! and Hairspray. The studio is currently moving ahead with their big screen adaptation of Wicked, their plans to make a sequel to Mama Mia!, and have also recently hired composers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) to create a musical based on a soon to be launched Mattel toyline that “aspires to add a new twist to monster lore.”
A few days ago I got to speak with director Kenny Ortega for Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” as a reporter for our partner’s at Omelete. Since Ortega has spoken at great length about the project to other websites and media outlets, I tried to ask some news questions. The main thing I wanted to know was since they had shot around 100 hours of footage when documenting the rehearsals, how much additional footage could fans expect to see on the eventual DVD/Blu-ray. According to Ortega, we’re going to get between two and three hours of additional footage. He also told me it won’t be added into the movie like a director’s cut but will be part of the extras section. And for people wondering when it’ll be released, he says early next year. Watch the full interview after the jump:
Director Kenny Ortega has decided to keep his Sunday shoes on his feet. The remake of 1984 dance musical “Footloose” is now looking for a new director as Ortega has decided to move on to other projects ever since he’s moved on from the “High School Musical” films with a one-two punch of this weekend’s “This Is It” and the possibility of directing the adaptation of the “meatier” Broadway hit, “In the Heights”.
So who will bring back Rock n’ Roll to the kids of a small town? It could be the man who knew it was hard out there for a pimp. Hit the jump to find out if “Hustle & Flow” director Craig Brewer may step in to keep “Footloose” dancing.
Director Kenny Ortega has left Paramount Pictures “Footloose” remake over differences on tone and budget. According to Variety, the studio wanted “an edgier drama with less emphasis on the musical numbers and a budget around $25 million or less.” Ortega, who previously directed all three “High School Musical” films and the upcoming Michael Jackson movie “This Is It”, wanted a film with elaborately staged musical numbers and a higher budget. More after the jump:
With Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” set for release next week, Sony has released a few clips and a new featurette. While I wondered what the level of interest was going to be and if the studio overpaid for the rights, Sony clearly knew what they were doing as many shows are already sold out and the 2-week limited run looks to be a big hit. So if you’d like a sneak peek at the film, hit the jump to watch some of the footage now.