The theatrical releases of Dirty Dancing 2 has been delayed by a year-and-a-half, due to the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, Deadline is reporting. The movie’s distributor, Lionsgate, is pushing the follow-up’s distribution date from February 9, 2024 to the summer of 2025.
The direct sequel to the Oscar-winning 1987 romantic dancing drama Dirty Dancing is being directed by 50/50 helmer Jonathan Levine. The new entry in the franchise was written by Elizabeth Chomko, Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis. Lionsgate is waiting to continue production on Dirty Dancing 2, due to the dual writers and actors’ strikes.
The original Dirty Dancing featured Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze. The film revolves around the romantic story between Frances “Baby” Houseman and Johnny Castle as they prepare for an important dance performance at an upscale Catskills resort during the summer of 1963.
In August 2020, Lionsgate announced that the sequel was in production, and Grey is attached to star and serve as an executive producer. The plot details of the follow-up have not yet been publicly revealed, but the distributor did confirm that Baby will return to the resort of the original film.
Dirty Dancing 2‘s release has been delayed because production hasn’t yet to begun. While Lionsgate is waiting to resume work on the anticipated sequel once the strikes are resolved, they’ll be working on behind-the-scenes discussions about somehow bringing back the late Swayze in the upcoming feature.
Levine told Deadline in May 2022 that Lionsgate has been negotiating with the Golden Globe-nominated actor’s estate to include him in some form in the follow-up. The filmmaker noted 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 to not be involved in a potential sequel. She said: “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.”
Besides the follow-up to the acclaimed ’80s drama, several other projects have also seen their distributions being delayed, due to the strikes. Disney has already pushed back the release dates of Thunderbolts, Avatar 3 and its next few Avengers movies.
Lionsgate has also rescheduled the theatrical release for director Marc Forster’s (Finding Neverland) war drama, White Bird: A Wonder Story. The release date for the spin-off to the studio’s 2017 box office smash, Wonder, has been moved from the end of next month to Q4 at the conclusion of this year. As a result, the last weekend in August is now left without a wide theatrical release, which isn’t that unusual for that point in summer.
The rescheduling of the release date for White Bird, which stars Helen Mirren and Gillian Anderson, is actual beneficial. It’s the type of movie that needs its A-list cast to promote it in order for it to receive attention. Is delay in distribution date also pushes it into the prime season for Academy Award season consideration.
In White Bird, Bryce Gheisar reprises his role as Julian, who has struggled to belong ever since he was expelled from his former school for his treatment of Auggie. To transform his life, Julian’s grandmother (Mirren) finally reveals to Julian her own story of courage — during her youth in Nazi-occupied France, a boy sheltered her from mortal danger. They find first love in a stunning, magical world of their own creation, while the boy’s mother (Anderson) risks everything to keep her safe.