Paramount's Grease prequel, Summer Lovin', has found a director. Brett Haley, whose previous work includes I'll See You in My Dreams, The Hero, and Hearts Beat Loud, has been tapped by the studio to direct the film. Leah McKendrick penned the script with Temple Hill and Picturestart producing, according to Deadline. The film will center around the brief summer fling that began Danny and Sandy's relationship mentioned in Grease's iconic song "Summer Nights".
Released in 1978, Grease was based on the stage musical of the same name and starred John Travolta as greaser Danny and Olivia Newton-John as the "good girl" Sandy. The teens had a brief summer relationship only to find out they are attending the same high school. The pair come from quite literally different ends of the world -- Sandy is an Australian transfer student -- but end up making their relationship work. The film was a massive hit upon its release, helping to propel Travolta into movie stardom. It also spawned a sequel which starred Michelle Pfeiffer and eventually received the "live for TV" treatment in a 2016 Fox special that starred Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens.
In addition to the film itself, the music Grease of grease was also a big hit, with many of the film's songs having become enduring parts of popular culture, so much so that back in June, CBS aired a sing-a-long version of Grease in lieu of the 74th Annual Tony Awards that were unable to take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Grease continues to be a cultural phenomenon, featuring an explosion of song and dance, as well as star-making performances from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Upon its release, Grease made an indelible impact on popular culture," a statement said about the sing-along at the time. "Decades later, the film remains an enduring favorite as legions of new fans continue to discover the memorable moments, sensational soundtrack and classic love story. Boasting unforgettable songs, including ‘Greased Lightnin’,’ ‘Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee,’ ‘Summer Nights,’ the Academy Award®-nominated ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You,’ ‘Beauty School Drop Out’ and, of course, the eponymous title track ‘Grease,’ the film is a timeless feel-good celebration."
As for the Summer Lovin' prequel, not much is known about the project outside of its general premise and now the director. Per Deadline, there's a possibility of a Grease franchise depending on how Summer Lovin' is received.
Summer Lovin' marks the first film at a major studio for Haley. In addition to his work on indie films I'll See You in My Dreams, The Hero, and Hearts Beat Loud, the director has also worked with Temple Hill on Netflix's Sorta Like a Rock Star. Haley also directed the Elle Fanning and Justice Smith-starring All the Bright Places.
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