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Patrick Swayze's widow approves 'Dirty Dancing' remake

Get more: Movies
08/11/2011 by Olivia Allin

Earlier in the week, Jennifer Grey showed support for a "Dirty Dancing" reboot and now Patrick Swayze's widow Lisa Niemi has also given her approval, according to director Kenny Ortega.

"Jennifer [Grey] and I have been talking and she's been so supportive, as has Lisa Swayze and [producer] Eleanor Bernstein," Ortega told Us Weekly on Wednesday. "I couldn't be more thankful for the outreach that has happened from the cast and crew members from the original movie."

It was announced earlier this week that Kenny Ortega, the choreographer of the original 1987 film, would serve as the director of a reboot. He also helmed the 2009 Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It" and three "High School Musical" films.

Swayze was married to Niemi, an actress and dancer, for 34 years before his death in 2009 at age 57 after battling pancreatic cancer.

Grey voiced her support on Twitter on Tuesday writing, "I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake."

The 51-year-old actress later said in a statement carried by The Wall Street Journal: "I'm so excited about this news and I think there's nobody better to do this than my beloved Kenny Ortega, who is as responsible as anyone for the success of the first one. I can't wait to see what he's going to do with it."

"Dirty Dancing" follows a teenager named Baby (Grey), who begins a summer romance with her dance instructor (Swayze), despite disapproval from her parents. The cast of the "Dirty Dancing" remake has not been announced, but Ortega said he has his eye on a few finalists from "So You Think You Can Dance," including Melanie Moore and Neil Haskell.

Ortega said he would love to have Grey do a cameo in the film if it's "organic." He also said that he hadn't "read anything yet" about the rumors that Justin Timberlake, Derek Hough and Lea Michele are frontrunners for roles in the film.

"Patrick and Jennifer brought so much, and the chemistry that they had with each other," Ortega said. "I just want to find that match."

"The new film is a celebration of one of the most beloved movies of all time," the movie's studio, Lionsgate, said in a statement. "Paying tribute to the emotional excitement of first love, the thrills and complexity of sexual awakening, the soul stirring power of dance, and the classic tale of teenage Baby's forbidden romance with Johnny Castle, the remake will incorporate classic songs from the 1960s, hits from the original film and brand new compositions."

The film spurred the hit song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life," which was recorded by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes. The Black Eyed Peas sampled the track in the 2010 single "The Time (Dirty Bit)."

The original "Dirty Dancing" movie grossed $214 million worldwide in 1987. A sequel called "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" was released in 2004 and featured a cameo by Swayze.

In 2010, Grey appeared on ABC ballroom dancing contest 'Dancing With The Stars' and won, along with partner Derek Hough. Check out photos of her on the show.

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