Despite some questionable lyrics, Paramount are heading back to “those Summer Nights” to form the prequel to the original 1978 musical Grease. Leah McKendrick’s script is set to explore how Sandy and Danny met for the first time and the events that led to them reuniting unexpectedly in school. Cue the inevitable song references in this article…
Trying not to become another beauty school dropout, the film has been in development at the studio since April last year. But they’ve finally settled on the one that they want to direct Summer Lovin’ as Brett Haley, making this his first major studio film after a run of well-received features such as I’ll See You in My Dreams.
We all know the original song tells two different sides of the story, with Sandy more concerned with the emotional side of things (“was it love at first sight?”), and Danny and his friends are, well, more physical and questionable (“did she put up a fight?”). As well as differences in language, there’s also differences between them relaying what really happened. Danny brags that “she swam by me, she got a cramp” so he “saved her life, she nearly drowned” – whilst Sandy claims he only “ran by me, got my suit damp” since he was “showing off, splashing around”.
One fan theory which has resurfaced is that Danny didn’t manage to save Sandy from drowning, and the events of Grease is a dream sequence – and given the fact that the car literally flies away at the end of the film, this could make some sense. In 2018, Travolta confirmed that one of them was certainly lying, and he thought it was more likely to be Danny. I think we can all agree the whole ‘and then she woke up and it was all a dream’ ending is a little bit too boring for Grease, but love for this film is a many splendored thing, and I can’t see them getting away with anything that easy.
Although no cast has been announced as of yet, the crew already seems to go together like… you get the picture. After a live TV version back in 2016 that ended up winning five Emmys (and 1982’s Grease 2, which earned a more so-so 38% on Rotten Tomatoes), many have reported that the original story of Sandy and Danny in Grease could have franchise potential.
A Grease prequel? There are worse things they could do.
Words by Harriet Metcalfe
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