EXCLUSIVE: Lionsgate has set Maria Maggenti to script the Dirty Dancing remake that has Kenny Ortega attached to direct. Ortega was the choreographer of the 1987 Emile Ardolino-helmed film about a pampered young girl who summers with her upscale family at an establishment in the Catskills and falls in love with the resident dance instructor. Because Lionsgate has fast-tracked the film and set a director, this was a job a lot of writers wanted. Maggenti got it after scripting Monte Carlo for Fox and New Regency. Since then, she scripted an adaptation of Before I Fall and is finishing up My Name Is Memory, also for Fox 2000 and New Regency. The writer’s repped by APA and Madhouse Entertainment.
Lionsgate is hoping to recapture some of the financial magic of the original, a sleeper hit that for its time was one of the most profitable independent films ever seen, costing $6 million and grossing $213.95 million worldwide. It was made by Vestron, which could not get its act together and mobilize a sequel before crapping out. Lionsgate released Artisan’s 2004 sequel, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, but didn’t make that film and has started from scratch and gone back to the original.