Blasphemy in the Theater

Remaking Dirty Dancing is a crime against Swayze: Too soon, too High School, too potentially horrible

Remaking Dirty Dancing is a crime against Swayze: Too soon, too High School, too potentially horrible

News-Patrick Swayze
Photo courtesy A&E

Somewhere, Patrick Swayze is doing pirouettes in his grave.

Just days away from the two year anniversary of the twinkle-toed Texan's death, a remake of Swayze's 1987 hit, Dirty Dancing, has gotten the green light from Lionsgate pictures.

(For our purposes we'll ignore 2004's Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights as a remake and instead consider it a "This time in Cuba.")

Although the rest of the cast is unconfirmed, we know that it's High School Musical director Kenny Ortega who'll be taking the helm as director.

Before we clasp our hands in fear of another Disney-packaged feature film turned live tour turned every type of back-to-school merchandise imaginable, remember that it's Ortega who did Dirty Dancing's original choreography, even if he's gone on to lesser productions.

What terrifies us is the potential cast, which in our worst nightmares is made up of Dancing With the Stars staffers and So You Think You Can Dance castoffs. Real dancers — Cyd Charisses and Swayzes — are, these days, hard to come by.

And, as the Los Angeles Times points out, the original movie was something of a period film. Will the feel of the first film be totally buried in an attempt to modernize — and in doing so, exaggerate — what was then a major, but by today's standards a tame, central conflict?

Lionsgate says the movie will still be set in the 1960s, yet somehow blend elements of both the original score and contemporary music. The Ronettes and Jason Derulo on the same soundtrack? We don't see it.

Here's our take: Footloose is one thing, even Fame, but Dirty Dancing is simply untouchable. Best-case, a remake would be to the original as Rosario Dawson was to Mimi. Not heinous, maybe even OK, but never equal.

Tell us: What do you think of a Dirty Dancing redux? Will you see it, rent it, ignore it, or protest its very existence?