Lionsgate touched on two major franchises with Wall Street analysts this week, following an earnings call on Thursday evening. The two franchises are “John Wick,” which is getting a fifth installment, and a new “Dirty Dancing” movie, with original star Jennifer Grey attached.
The untitled Jennifer Grey dance movie confirms our earlier report that Grey is returning to her iconic character from the 1987 film “Dirty Dancing.” Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer confirmed both projects during the call, and Grey will star and executive produce the upcoming dance movie.
“To reveal one of the worst kept secrets in Hollywood, we’re pleased to confirm that Jennifer Grey will both executive produce and star in a new ‘Dirty Dancing’ movie for Lionsgate from ‘Warm Bodies’ director Jonathan Levine,” he said in the call. “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.”
Back in 2004, Lionsgate released “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights,” starring Diego Luna, Romola Garai, Sela Ward, and John Slattery. The film made $27.6M worldwide from an estimated $25M budget and was crushed by critics. Guy Ferland directed that movie for the studio, working from a story by Kate Gunzinger and Peter Sagal. ABC made a TV remake in 2017 with Abigail Breslin, Colt Prattes, Debra Messing, and Nicole Scherzinger, and the franchise went cold until now.
Lionsgate originally slated “John Wick 4” to release in theaters on May 21, 2021, but production on the film was delayed because of the ongoing health crisis, and Lionsgate moved the film’s release date to May 2022. Feltheimer confirmed that a fifth movie will be added to the franchise, and that the studio will shoot both movies back-to-back.
“We’re also busy preparing scripts for the next two installments of our ‘John Wick’ action franchise, with ‘John Wick 4’ slated to hit theatres Memorial Day weekend 2022,” Feltheimer added.
David Leitch and Chad Stahelski directed the first movie in the “John Wick” franchise, which opened with a $14M weekend and went on to make over $88M worldwide. Stahelski returned to direct the second and third installments, with “John Wick Chapter 2” making over $171M globally; and “John Wick: Chapter 3″ grossed over $326M worldwide. The third installment featured Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, and Jason Mantzoukas.
Other projects mentioned during the call include a horror-thriller called “The Devi’s Light,” and “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” with Nicolas Cage.
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