"Grease" is the word, and it's spreading. You may have heard of the Grease prequel movie, Summer Lovin, which found a director earlier this year. However, that's not the only project that's going to be set in the Rydell High Cinematic Universe (at least, we hope that's what they're calling it). A Grease spin-off series is also coming, and it was just reported by Variety that it's being moved from HBO Max to Paramount Plus. The series is being rebranded as Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, "an hour-long musical comedy about how the infamous Pink Ladies (comprised of Sandy, Rizzo, Jan, Marty, and Frenchy in the original movie) began and how the reverence, fear, and moral panic they sparked changed Rydell High forever."
Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Transparent) is set to be creator, writer, and executive producer. The show was originally called Rydell High and was reportedly let go from HBO Max because "Casey Bloys decided to not move forward with the project after taking over HBO Max content duties as part of his promotion to Chief Content Officer for HBO and HBO Max in August."
"Rise of the Pink Ladies will feature a handful of new songs, but it could potentially be bereft of some of the more iconic numbers from the musical," Variety writes. "The estate representing Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, who composed the songs and lyrics for the 1971 musical, was withholding the rights to use tunes such as 'Greased Lightning' and 'Summer Nights' when the HBO Max version was announced, however, sources say Paramount TV Studios is still hoping to make a deal for the original music."
As for Summer Lovin, 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.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Grease projects? Which are you more excited for? Tell us in the comments!