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Kenny Ortega to helm 'Dancing' remake

Aug. 9, 2011 at 12:10 PM   |   Comments

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SANTA MONICA, Calif., Aug. 9 (UPI) -- Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of "Dirty Dancing," is to direct a remake of the iconic 1987 romance movie, Lionsgate announced.

Ortega's credits include "High School Musical 3: Senior Year" and "This Is It," starring Michael Jackson.

The original "Dirty Dancing" was set in 1963 and featured Jennifer Grey as a teen who falls in love with a dance teacher, played by the late Patrick Swayze, while on vacation with her parents.

Plans for a "Dirty Dancing" remake, which will incorporate classic songs from the 1960s, hits from the original film and brand new compositions, were announced Monday by Joe Drake, co-chief operational officer of Lionsgate and president of the Motion Picture Group.

The studio said it is in talks with Eleanor Bergstein, the writer and co-producer of the original film, regarding her involvement in the new film in a producing capacity.

"Amazingly, it has been almost 25 years since the original film was released, but the fans remain legion, and engaged more than ever with a brand that is special and vital to them. We believe that the timing couldn't be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm," Drake said in a statement.

"The opportunity to direct 'Dirty Dancing' is like returning home for me," Ortega added. "Growing up in the 60s on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist. I am looking forward to assembling a great creative team and an exciting cast to bring 'Dirty Dancing' to the screen for a new generation. Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can't wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats."

© 2011 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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