Dirty Dancing Star Jennifer Grey Confirms Sequel Won't Replace Patrick Swayze's Johnny

News broke this past summer that 1987's Dirty Dancing would be getting a proper sequel starring Jennifer Grey, who recently confirmed that the project won't attempt to replace Patrick Swayze's Johnny, as the actor passed away in 2009 of pancreatic cancer. In addition to starring in the upcoming film, Grey will also serve as an executive producer. The film went on to become one of the biggest hits of 1987, earning $170 million worldwide, while the soundtrack would go on to sell more than 32 million copies worldwide, with the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

"All I can say is there is no replacing anyone who’s passed — you never try to repeat anything that’s magic like that," Grey shared with PEOPLE. "You just go for something different."

The original film focused on Grey's Baby Houseman falling in love with Swayze's dance instructor Johnny at an affluent summer resort she was visiting with her family. The film, which takes place in 1963, has been praised not only for its music, dancing, and chemistry between Grey and Swayze, but also for its depiction of abortion issues. Interestingly, the film came from Vestron, a studio previously known for releasing schlocky B-movies on the home video market, with Dirty Dancing being a gamble to break into the world of theatrical releases.

"It will be exactly the kind of romantic, nostalgic movie that the franchise's fans have been waiting for and that have made it the biggest-selling library title in the Company’s history," Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer shared of the upcoming film when it was originally announced.

The original franchise has been continued in a number of ways over the years. In 2004, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights landed in theaters, serving as a prequel to the debut film. Set in 1958, the film was a loose remake of Dirty Dancing, though it changed the concept to a girl moving from New York to Cuba, where she learned about dance. Swayze had a cameo in that film as a dance teacher. Lionsgate had previously been developing a remake of the original film, with that project ultimately falling through.

In 2017, a Dirty Dancing musical remake premiered on ABC, starring Abigail Breslin and Colt Prattes.

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