Dirty Dancing inspired countless productions: A Broadway play, a British TV series, an American TV series, and the 2004 movie, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. However, an actual sequel has never been made and hadn’t even been in the works, until 2017, when the movie’s original writer, Eleanor Bergstein, revealed she was working on a draft. Despite the movie coming out in 1987, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, many of the film’s topics feel as relevant today as they ever were.
In an interview with E!, Bergstein said, “I always did think they had a future, I just wasn’t ready to go back into it…now I think I am ready to”. She claims that a modern version of Baby would portray women’s equality, and the general theme of the film would certainly resonate with the immigrant rights and abortion issues that are bleeding into the social and political climate of our modern-day society. As Bergstein states, “I think every social issue would be hers…it feels intuitively right for me to do a sequel now, I think…I’m kind of drafting it out in my head.”
A Tragic Passing
Patrick Swayze was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer in 2008, after he complained about a burning sensation in his stomach. He was just filming an episode for The Beast, and the doctors gave him two weeks to live. He agreed to seek aggressive measures in dealing with his illness, and was put on an experimental drug. He also underwent chemotherapy.
As always, the actor came out fighting. He always assumed control over all kinds of challenges, and cancer was no different. He was a proud cancer survivor. But his disease would slowly but surely metastasize to his liver. He told his fans he was kicking it, but he was visibly pale, and dry-skinned, and bony. Sadly, he died on Sept. 14, 2009, just 20 months on from his cancer diagnosis. Patrick Swayze was just 57 years old.
Val Kilmer Almost Played Johnny
Nowadays, when we think of Dirty Dancing, we can't imagine anyone other than Patrick Swayze playing the gorgeous, smooth Johnny. However, to many fans' surprise, Val Kilmer was director, Emile Ardolino's first choice! Kilmer turned down the offer, though, and went on to star in Daniel Mann's "The Man Who Broke 1,000 Chains".
As stunning as Val Kilmer was back then, we're happy Patrick Swayze eventually auditioned for the role and got it. Can you imagine Kilmer lifting up Jennifer Grey in the lake? Yeah, neither can we.
There Was an Actual Remake in 2017
In a time when it seems that most of the films taking over the silver screen are remakes of old classics, it seems strange that a Dirty Dancing one hasn't been done yet. But, in fact, there was an actual remake of the film in 2017, a fact that many people don't know since most probably haven't even seen it.
The 2017 remake was created by Wayne Blair and Jessica Sharzer, one of the main writers of American Horror Story. The film was created for television and aired on ABC in May of 2017. The movie is set in 1963, just like the original; it follows the same storyline and adds the element of an older Baby reflecting on the events of that magical summer. Johnny is played by Colt Prattes and Baby is brought back to life by Abigal Breslin, the brilliant daughter from "Little Miss Sunshine". Even Jennifer Grey was offered a part but turned it down.
Sharon Stone and Sarah Jessica Parker Almost Played Baby
After her part in Dirty Dancing, Jennifer Grey became a Hollywood sensation. But this almost didn't happen! In fact, Grey almost turned down the part when she heard Patrick Swayze would be playing Johnny since they hadn't really gotten along in their previous film, Red Dawn. And to add to the dilemma, there were A-list celebrities lining up for the role of Baby, including Sharon Stone and Sarah Jessica Parker!
In the end, it was Grey that wowed the casting crew and got the role. And just as well, because Parker went on to star in the world-renowned TV hit, Sex and the City. As for Sharon Stone, she went on to star in Total Recall and the hit film, Basic Instinct. Not bad, huh?