The original "Dirty Dancing" took place at the fictional Catskills resort Kellerman's. Grey played Francis "Baby" Houseman, who went there on vacation with her family and fell in love with dance instructor Johnny Castle, played by Swayze.
In May 2022, Lionsgate announced Jonathan Levine would direct the new feature. He told Deadline at the time that the new film would take place in the 1990s and that Grey would reprise her role as Baby, who returns to Kellerman's to reflect on her romance with Johnny.
Levine said the movie would also feature a new young couple falling in love at the resort in a similar manner to Baby and Johnny. He added that Baby's story would overlap with the couple's in some way.
"This film exists in a dialogue with the original. We want to introduce this story to a whole new generation," Levine told Deadline.
"The most important thing for us was having Jennifer on board," he added. "She is an invaluable collaborator."
"I can't wait to collaborate with Jennifer to bring this beautiful story of summer and romance and dancing to a generation of new fans. And to the longtime ones, I promise we will not ruin your childhood. We will tackle the assignment with sophistication, ambition, and, above all, love," the filmmaker said.