The upcoming sequel to Dirty Dancing will not be recasting Johnny Castle, the character originally played by the late Patrick Swayze.
In August, it was confirmed that a follow-up to the 1987 film was on the way, with Jennifer Grey reprising her role as Frances “Baby” Houseman as well as serving as an executive producer.
Swayze, who played Baby’s dance instructor and love interest in the film, died of pancreatic cancer in 2009. Grey has now revealed that producers will not be replacing Swayze’s character.
“All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed – you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that,” Grey told People. “You just go for something different.”
When Dirty Dancing was released it grossed $218m (£166m) at the global box office after costing only $5 million (£3.8 million) to make. A spin-off film, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, was released in 2004.
Speaking on why she thinks the original movie has remained so popular over the years, Grey said: “Its appeal was that it was very genuine and simple. It was about innocence and the way that innocence is lost and how people explode into a different iteration of themselves.”
Dirty Dancing 2 will be directed by Warm Bodies‘ Jonathan Levine and Gillian Bohrer. Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis, the duo behind Five Feet Apart and The Curse Of La LLorona, are writing the screenplay.
Speaking about the project, Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer said: “It will be exactly the kind of romantic, nostalgic movie that the franchise’s fans have been waiting for and that have made it the biggest-selling library title in the company’s history.”
Back in 2017, Dirty Dancing’s famous lift dance move landed a couple in medical trouble after they failed to perform it correctly. The pair went viral after images of the incident appeared online.