Dirty Dancing 2's theatrical premiere has been pushed back to a much later release window.
The original Dirty Dancing film from the 1980s featured Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. The movie revolves around the romantic story between Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny Castle as they prepare for an important dance performance at a nearby resort.
In August 2020, Lionsgate announced the sequel to Dirty Dancing with original star Jennifer Grey attached to star and serve as executive producer. The plot details of the movie are still being kept under wraps, but Grey did confirm that Baby will return to the resort of the original movie.
When Will Dirty Dancing 2 Release?
According to Deadline, Lionsgate pushed back the release date of Dirty Dancing 2 from its original February 9, 2024 premiere date to the summer of 2025.
The move is due to the ongoing writers' and actors' strikes by the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild.
Furthermore, Deadline also noted that Lionsgate is waiting to get Jennifer Grey to reprise her role "in the right perfect state" due to the current situation in Hollywood.
Dirty Dancing 2 is directed by Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) with a screenplay by Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis.
Interestingly, this isn't the first Dirty Dancing follow-up that was released. In 2004, Lionsgate developed 2004's Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, a film described as an unrelated prequel or reimagining of the original movie.
Why Dirty Dancing 2 Needs To Be Delayed
With the current state of Hollywood now due to the ongoing strikes, Dirty Dancing 2's latest release delay makes sense, considering that production has yet to begin for the sequel.
Moreover, there were also behind-the-scenes discussions about somehow bringing back the late Patrick Swayze in the sequel.
Dirty Dancing 2 director Jonathan Levine confirmed with Deadline in May 2022 that Lionsgate has been negotiating with Swayze's estate to include the actor in some form, noting that “Johnny is a part of Baby’s journey in the story.”
However, the actor's widow, Lisa Niemi Swayze told Entertainment Tonight in August 2022 that her late husband was firm in his decision that he would not be involved in a potential sequel:
"He would not do it again. [The way they] left it was absolutely perfect. There were several iterations of a script for that movie, but Patrick had a high standard and he wasn't gonna do it just for the money."
With the current delay, it's possible that negotiations with Swayze's estate will be restarted, but many would agree that it would be disrespectful for the studio to still pursue the idea.
Whatever the case, this new release update could give more time for the studio and the producers to craft a compelling story that would honor the original movie's legacy while still introducing a fresh new idea into the mix.
Dirty Dancing 2 is set to premiere in theaters in the summer of 2025.