Lionsgate Confirms “Dirty Dancing” Reboot.

Someday, historians will look back on the benighted day of August 9, 2011 and record that it was the day that Hollywood officially ran out of ideas.

From Access Hollywood:

“Dirty Dancing” is getting the reboot treatment, Lionsgate announced on Monday.

Kenny Ortega, the film’s original choreographer, and director of Michael Jackson’s “This Is It,” will direct the new film.

“The opportunity to direct ‘Dirty Dancing’ is like returning home for me,” Ortega said in a statement. “Growing up in the 60’s, on the dance floor helped define me as a person and as an artist. I am looking forward to assembling a great creative team and an exciting cast to bring ‘Dirty Dancing’ to the screen for a new generation. 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.”

Ortega is set to produce the film with Debra Martin Chase, whose credits include “The Princess Diaries” and “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”

I’m not even sure I count high enough to enumerate the reasons this is a bad idea.

For one, it’s not like “Dirty Dancing” is some seldom-seen gem that needs to be reinterpreted for a new generation. The film is a constant fixture on cable and there’s a whole generation (or two) that’s grown up with Jennifer Grey’s “Baby” and the late Patrick Swayze’s “Johnny.”

And that’s another thing: For most of us, “Dirty Dancing” is the essential Swayze role. And it almost seems like an insult to his memory to recast another actor in the part. Is someone really going to bring something new to the table? It’s hard to imagine that the filmmakers will be able to duplicate the chemistry between Grey and Swayze, let alone recapture the machismo Swayze brought to the part.

Finally, I’ll just ask this:

Has Hollywood become so creatively bankrupt or so risk-averse that it’s now going to simply retread and resurface the same films for countless generations of filmgoers? There are literally hundreds of talented people writing screenplays and coming up with fresh ideas. The problem is now that films are so massively expensive that studios are — with few exceptions — going with can’t-miss properties that are custom-tailored to appeal to the broadest possible audience.

And that way, dreck lies.

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