Outside of Disney’s live action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, no other Hollywood musical has enjoyed more success than 1978’s Grease (based on the Broadway show of the same name). Even more impressive is the fact that the film, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, was released more than 40 years ago and yet it manages to endear itself to one generation after another. That endearment has now paved the way for a new prequel that’s currently in development.
Called Summer Loving, it will takes its premise from the opening song of the first film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In the tune, John’s Danny Zuko and Olivia’s Sandy Olsson reflect on the summer they’ve just experienced, during which they met each other, fell in love and ultimately had to go their separate ways. That is until Sandy finds herself in Danny’s high school and the two try to rekindle their relationship, though Danny is more concerned with being cool than showing Sandy his true feelings.
Writing the film is John August, whose credits include the Charlie’s Angels films starring Drew Barrymore, Lucy Liu and Cameron Diaz; Tim Burton’s Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dark Shadows; as well as this May’s live action version of Disney’s Aladdin. Producing is Temple Hill, the company behind Love, Simon, the films based on the Maze Runner novels and Ryan Gosling‘s First Man.
Neither John or Olivia were interested in a sequel to Grease, so a sequel was produced in 1982 that more or less reversed the roles of the leads, with Maxwell Caulfield as nice guy Michael Carrington and Michelle Pfeiffer making a big screen debut as bad girl Stephanie Zinone. Actors who did return from the original were Didi Conn (Frenchie), Eve Arden (Principal McGee), Sid Caesar (Coach Calhoun) and Eddie Deezen (Eugene Felsnic).
Not many people may realize that in 2009 a television series inspired by the film was produced in Venezuela called Somos tu y yo: un nuevo dia (which translates to We Are You and Me: A New Day). Additionally, in 2016 Fox aired a live version of the musical with Julianne Hough as Sandy and Aaron Tveit as Danny. The stage musical made its debut in Chicago in 1971. The following year it went to Broadway and, in 1973, mounted a production on London’s West End.
The story, apparently, was just beginning.
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