There’s a saying that it makes “an ass out of you and me” when you assume something (it’s a spelling joke), but that doesn’t mean that assumptions are always wrong. It just means that everyone involved is an ass. It’s a little unfair, but that’s just how life works. Well, prepare to become an ass, because we’ve got some assumptions here that seem worryingly reasonable—depending on how you feel about the conclusion being drawn from these assumptions.
Let’s start with the facts: Jennifer Grey, star of 1987's Dirty Dancing, is working with Lionsgate to star in and executive produce a movie about dancing. Lionsgate owns the distribution rights to Dirty Dancing. We don’t know what Grey’s movie is called or what it’s about, to the extent that Variety says Lionsgate “refuses to comment” on it.
So… is it a new Dirty Dancing? That’s what Variety is assuming, suggesting that it will be a ‘90s-set sequel with Grey reprising her role as Francis Houseman (she used to go by “Baby” before it occurred to her to mind, and also nobody should ever put her in a corner). The catch is that Patrick Swayze is dead, of course, and at the risk of making an assumption of our own, it seems like a terrible idea to make a direct sequel without him. Grey was the main character of that first movie, sure, but people didn’t watch it for her. They don’t continue to watch it today for her. A direct sequel would run the risk of simply being an extended reminder that Patrick Swayze died, not to mention Jerry Orbach, and that seems too sad for the Dirty Dancing franchise.
Again, though, this is all based on assumptions. It could be a completely unrelated dance movie that maybe pays homage to Dirty Dancing, or even a Dirty Dancing movie with no real connection to the original like Havana Nights. (On a related note, does anyone remember the Dirty Dancing TV remake from a few years ago? We certainly didn’t until just now.)