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Kenny Ortega to Direct Lionsgate Dirty Dancing Remake

Photo of Jacob Combs By Jacob Combs | Thompson on Hollywood August 8, 2011 at 11:52AM

We haven't heard too much of Kenny Ortega since This Is It, his 2009 Michael Jackson documentary, but Lionsgate announced today that it will be producing a remake of Dirty Dancing with Ortega at the helm.
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Thompson on Hollywood

We haven't heard too much of Kenny Ortega since This Is It, his 2009 Michael Jackson documentary, but Lionsgate announced today that it will be producing a remake of Dirty Dancing with Ortega at the helm.

Ortega's a sensible choice: he was the choreographer on Emile Ardolino's 1987 romance flick about a young girl who rebels against her father by taking up with a dance teacher during their summer vacation in the Catskills.

Critics were lukewarm about the Ardolino's original, which starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey, but audiences loved it. It's also the film we have to thank (or maybe blame) for the now-classic song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," which won a best song Oscar.

Ortega shot to the top of the camp director heap with his three High School Musical movies, also audience favorites that were critically panned. Odds are he'll make a new Dirty Dancing that's just what we'd expect—solid teen candy that will have its brief day (or weekend) in the spotlight.

Ortega and Debra Martin Chase, of The Princess Diaries, will produce. Lionsgate is also in talks with Eleanor Bergstein, the writer and a co-producer of the original film, to come on board the remake as a producer.


Dirty Dancing - Final Dance - Time of my Life

This article is related to: Genres, Independents, Video, News, Remake, Musical, Romance, Lionsgate/Roadside, Trailers


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.