How a Patrick Swayze hologram could ruin Dirty Dancing 2

We all know the famous movie quote: “No one puts baby in a corner with a CGI recreation of the late Patrick Swayze.”

OK, so that’s not the exact term, but it’s still a definite – and humiliating – possibility for the upcoming sequel to the 1987 classic Dirty Dancing.

Swayze, who played sexy Catskills dancer Johnny Castle and died of pancreatic cancer in 2009, may return in digitized form for the sequel — completely unbeknownst to him and potentially unbearable for us.

“We’re going to try to involve as many people as possible from the original,” director Jonathan Levine told Deadline from the Cannes Film Festival, adding that the production is in discussion with Swayze’s estate. “Johnny is part of Baby’s journey through history.”

Read it once and I can’t hide – I have ANGRY EYES!

While Levine’s exact intentions and artistic vision are unclear — he has responded to a request for comment — one can’t help but wonder if 62-year-old Jennifer Grey, who memorably played Baby in the original, is somehow absurdly being cast as Cha -cha with Swayze from beyond the grave.

Jennifer Gray and Patrick Swayze sizzled as Baby and Johnny in 1987 "Dirty dancing."
Swayze and Jennifer Gray sizzled as Baby and Johnny in 1987’s Dirty Dancing.
© Vestron Pictures/Courtesy Ever

If the film’s plan was to simply flash back to old footage of the original – here we are balancing on a log! You tickle my arm! – Sources say there would be little point in communicating with the estate about something so mundane.

“The film company owns the images,” a producer said of the archive footage.

Another entertainer agrees the way the messages were delivered sounds sneaky.

“One has to wonder why, if they wanted to make that kind of announcement, why didn’t they at least enlist a representative of the estate to make that declaration in partnership,” said a film executive who has worked closely with Lionsgate and other ateliers.

Lionsgate did not respond to a request for comment.

Lionsgate is in talks with the Patrick Swayze Estate to bring the actor into a new sequel.
Lionsgate is in talks with the Swayze Estate to bring the actor into a new sequel.
Artisan Entertainment/ Courtesy: Everett Collection

The director’s vague niceties sound chillingly familiar in this sad era of decommissioned technology. When actor Peter Cushing was electronically exhumed to play Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – he looked like a grumpy gumby – the visual effects supervisor told the Guardian: “This work was done with a lot of love and… Care Done.” What a pot.

A few years later, as the “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” crew clumsily wedged archival footage of the late Carrie Fisher into an entirely new context, plopping into a forest, JJ Abrams told The Post, “I think if she lived and you would have to squint if it were the same movie. No way, JJ

We’re constantly being lectured by these dystopian undertakers that we’re honoring their legacy by turning deceased stars into screensavers from 2003. That the goofy doubles are lasting monuments that the actors probably, maybe, would have kind of approved of. No, cynics, Hollywood doesn’t make a quick buck on the names and likenesses of long-gone celebrities!

Jennifer Grey, now 62, will return as a baby in the sequel to "Dirty dancing."
Grey, now 62, will return as a baby in the Dirty Dancing sequel.
Getty Images

One can only marvel at Tinseltown’s proud soullessness. Even James Dean, who died in 1955 at the age of 24, is set to return to the big screen in the new film Finding Jack, thanks to sophisticated new animation techniques. (Dean is replacing Elvis Presley, whose estate wisely said no to the stunt.) Exactly what Dean dreamed of while studying at the Actors Studio at a time when talking 3D holograms were practically witchcraft — a bucketful of pixels and a Algorithm.

It’s still early enough for Lionsgate (whose horrific flops Moonfall and Chaos Walking inspire as much confidence as a centuries-old suspension bridge over a ravine) to choose a route that won’t make viewers bury their heads in theirs Popcorn: a few flashback scenes from the 1987 flick coupled with a whole new young couple. (The best bet would be not to do a sequel at all, but it’s a phat shot. It’s one of the studio’s most lucrative properties.) Gray said she’d like Harry Styles to be in the film. Fine!

All I know is that I won’t have the time of my life when Hollywood turns the wonderful Swayze who left too soon into the T-Rex from Jurassic World.

Leave a Comment