So You Think You Can Dance stars may hit the big screen in the Dirty Dancing remake, if director Kenny Ortega has his way. He spoke to Wetpaint Entertainment after guest judging the SYTYCD Season 8 finale performance show and revealed some inside scoop. First, did Ortega mean what he said on the show about offering Melanie Moore a role in the movie?
"I would stand in line and I would elbow people out of my way to work with Melanie, possibly for Dirty Dancing," he vowed. "She is so versatile and so gifted ... and so humble. With that humility who knows where this young lady is going to take us?"
Melanie isn't the only one Kenny would love work with. "Neil [Haskell], who danced last week, I’ve admired him since I first saw him dancing on the show. Kent, Robert, Lauren and Ashley from last year, and all four of these kids tonight, and so many others," he said. "This show is giving birth to the future of dancers, film theatre and television. It’s a great talent pool."
Some casting rumors have already begun flying around, with Justin Timberlake and Chris Hemworth being named as possible leads.
"Have they? I haven’t read anything yet. It’s all brand-new to me," Ortega claimed.
When informed that odds had already been placed on JT, Glee star Lea Michele and Dancing With the Stars pro Derek Hough, Ortega simply said, "I love those three people, I think all three of them are powerhouses."
He still insisted that the casting process is far, far away. "I have no idea who will star because I don’t have a writer yet, and until we know where we are going, it is hard to imagine who might help us tell the story," he said. "But I’m looking forward to getting out there to see new people and visiting the ideas of people we already know."
As for naysayers and skeptics who don't want to see Dirty Dancing remade, Ortega explained, "It took me a minute to see the reason for doing this — there’s an entire new world of dancers. We did Dirty Dancing 25 years ago and there’s a whole new talent pool. I think it would be great fun to revisit."
Two proponents of a possible new Dirty Dancing? The original movie's star, Jennifer Grey, and the widow of Patrick Swayze.
"Jennifer and I have been talking and she’s been so supportive, as has Lisa Swayze," he noted. "I couldn’t be more thankful for the outreach from the cast and crew of the original movie who have all called and said, ‘Go, Ken, go!’"
And if it's "organic and right," Ortega would "love nothing more" than to have Grey appear in the remake.
"At the end of the day, Patrick and Jennifer, and Cynthia [Rhodes] and Jerry Orbach, brought so much and it was so layered, the chemistry that they had with each other. I want to find that magic."