Jennifer Grey 'Excited' Over 'Dirty Dancing' Remake

Grey, star of the original, defended remake as others expressed outrage.

ByABC News
August 10, 2011, 1:42 PM

Aug. 10, 2011— -- Jennifer Grey, one of the original stars of "Dirty Dancing", has given her seal of approval on the proposed remake of the 1987 cult classic.

"I'm so excited about this news and I think there's nobody better to do this than my beloved Kenny Ortega who is as responsible as anyone for the success of the first one. I can't wait to see what he's going to do with it," Grey said in a statement to the Wall Street Journal.

Ortega, who choreographed the original and went on to helm the "High School Musical" movies and Michael Jackson's final screen bow, "This Is It," is set to direct the new "Dirty Dancing."

Lionsgate announced Monday that they had green-lighted the redux, which will also be set in the '60s and include some of the same music from the original. The news had some fans seeing red.

The musical romance which also starred Patrick Swayze was hugely popular when it was released and became one of the most profitable films of all time, grossing $214 million worldwide (it cost only $6 million to make). It also left its mark on popular culture. How often have you heard the phrase "Nobody puts baby in a corner" or the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life?"

That may explain the vitriolic comments on Twitter Tuesday.

"Lionsgate has announced a 'Dirty Dancing' remake. OF COURSE THEY HAVE. DIE IN A FIRE, MOVIE INDUSTRY," Linda from Seattle tweeted.

"Nothing will EVER compare to Dirty Dancing. I don't even know why they're gonna try to remake it. #PatrickSwayze will always be a legend," Alyssa Reale from Ohio wrote on her Twitter feed.

But Grey defended the remake on Twitter.

"I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake," she tweeted.

Grey was outnumbered. More fans echoed Reale's comments that no one could possibly fill the dancing shoes of Swayze, who died from pancreatic cancer in 2009, or recreate the chemistry between him and Grey.

That doesn't mean Hollywood won't try or that the betting on the lead actors hasn't already begun.

According to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, Justin Timberlake is the front-runner to fill Swayze's iconic role, followed closely by "Thor" star Chris Hemsworth and Derek Hough from "Dancing With The Stars."

Hough's close pal from the show, Carrie Ann Inaba, is already leading the campaign for him to win the role.

"If they do a dirty dancing remake - THEY BETTER USE DEREK HOUGH," she tweeted Tuesday.

Inaba is also rooting for "Glee" star Lea Michele to play love interest Baby, the role that made Grey famous.

But Paddy Power has Michele at number two after rising star Emma Stone. Julia Roberts' niece Emma Roberts is in third place.

With "Footloose," another '80s musical remake set to roll after the "Fame" redux flopped at the box office, it's understandable that there's not a whole lot of excitement in the Twittersphere about a "Dirty Dancing" remake.

But if there's a ray of hope, it's Ortega.

For him, the new film presents an opportunity to discover the next Swayze.

"The opportunity to direct Dirty Dancing is like returning home for me," he said in a Lionsgate press release. "Patrick Swayze set the bar for men dancing in the movies as Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire did before him. I believe everywhere you look there is evidence that the talent is out there and I can't wait to begin the process of discovering the next breakout triple-threats."