'Dirty Dancing' Coming Back With Michael Jackson's Director

Mon Aug 8, 2011 3:18pm EDT

Kenny Ortega will direct the upcoming  "Dirty Dancing" remake, Lionsgate said Monday.

The move is something of a cinematic homecoming for Ortega, who served as choreographer for the original 1987 film.

More recently, Ortega directed the Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It," as well as "High School Musical." Ortega will also co-produce the movie with Debra Martin Chase.

"We believe that the timing couldn’t be better to modernize this story on the big screen, and we are proud to have Kenny Ortega at the helm.” said Joe Drake, president of Lionsgate’s Motion Picture Group. 

Also read: Lionsgate's Surprise Social Media Star: 'Dirty Dancing' and Its 9.4M Friends

Saying that the "Dirty Dancing" directing gig "is like returning home for me," Ortega added, "I am looking forward to assembling a great creative team and an exciting cast to bring 'Dirty Dancing' to the screen for a new generation."

Lionsgate is currently in negotiations with Eleanor Bergstein, who wrote and co-produced of the original film, to sign on in a producer's capacity.

The original 1987 movie, which starred Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the coming-of-age tale, has remained a popular property for Lionsgate. The Facebook page for the movie has racked up an astounding 9.4 million fans as of May, prompting the studio to think of new ways to exploit the title, including a possible online video game. The film is also one of the most popular titles in Lionsgate's catalog, having sold more than 10 million units on DVD.

Related Articles:  Lionsgate's Surprise Social Media Star: 'Dirty Dancing' and Its 9.4M Friends