Yes, a prequel to the hit 1978 musical Grease went into development last year at Paramount – and it now has its director.
Set to helm Summer Loving is Brett Haley, making his first high-profile studio film following smaller drama and comedy fare such as Hearts Beat Loud, The Hero and All the Bright Places, the latter an Elle Fanning-starring Netflix film released earlier this year.
With a screenplay by Leah McKendrick (M.F.A.), Summer Loving will tell of how Danny and Sandy (played by John Travolta and Olivia Newtwon-John in the original) first met and how this first stage of their relationship unfolded. As you may remember, Danny and Sandy sang about their summer fling in the classic musical’s beloved number “Summer Nights.” There’s still no word on who will be playing the lovebirds this time around.
Deadline broke the news of Haley’s hiring, reporting that it was the filmmaker’s passion and pitch of how we could update it all for today’s audiences that got him the job. Paramount is reportedly eyeing Summer Loving as a potential franchise starter if things go well.
The studio has been looking at how to tackle another Grease chapter for quite a while now. Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield led an ill-received 1982 sequel, Grease 2, which was set two years after the first film and had an almost entirely new cast. In 2016 Julianne Hough and Vanessa Hudgens starred in a “live for TV” version, which went on to earn five Emmys.