He must have had the time of his life: Kenny Ortega, the inventor of dirty dancing, will return to direct a Dirty Dancing remake. Ortega, who was the choreographer on the original Patrick Swayze film, has spent the past decade directing kid-friendly musicals like the High School Musical series. And Disney bomb Newsies, which any woman who grew up in the early 90’s will tell you was an incontrovertible work of art.
Lionsgate tried to reboot the dancing franchise in 2004 with Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, but the film was a critical and commercial bust. By bringing back some of the original talent, Lionsgate probably hopes to capture the original film’s box office magic- with a $6 million budget, the film grossed over $200 million.
Between the Footloose remake and this film, faux-rebellious dancing is the next big thing. Odds are, the new Dirty Dancing will limit the mature content of the original to better fit into Ortega’s kid-friendly style. Less “Dirty Dancing”, more “Slightly Messy Dancing.” Of course, since you can basically see people have sex on the dance floor these days, the idea of dance as a form of shocking rebellion is almost quaint. Next thing you know, they’ll be making films about using rock music to fight the man!