A Grease prequel, now titled Rise of the Pink Ladies, has found a new home at ViacomCBS’ new streaming platform Paramount+ after originally being optioned by WarnerMedia’s HBO Max.
The new series, which was initially titled Grease: Rydell High, will focus on the friendship between Sandy, Rizzo, Jan, Marty and Frenchy. The show will be written and executive produced Annabel Oakes, who has recently written and directed the YouTube pilot The Edge of Seventeen, as well as, episodes of Netflix’s Atypical and MTV’s Awkward.
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Rise of the Pink Ladies will still be set in the 1950s and feature big musical numbers as well as new original songs. The series will examine the peer pressures of high school, the trauma of puberty, and the ups and downs of teenage life.
HBO Max chose not to move forward with the series after WarnerMedia restructured its management team by putting Casey Bloys in charge of the streaming service after consumer head Bob Greenblatt and chief content officer Kevin Reilly left the company.
Rise of the Pink Ladies, produced by Paramount Television, Picturestart and Temple Hill, is not the only Grease prequel in the works. A feature film titled Summer Lovin’ is also in development. Paramount+, which will launch in early 2021, also has a scripted series based on the making of The Godfather, a revival of Mara Brock Akil’s comedy The Game and spy drama Lioness from Yellowstone co-creator Taylor Sheridan, in the works.
The original Grease was released in 1978 and is based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Written by Bronte Woodard and directed by Randal Kleiser, the film showed the relationship between greaser Danny Zuko, played by John Travolta, and Australian transfer student Sandy Olsson, played by Olivia Newton-John as Sandy. The film also starred Stockard Channing as Betty Rizzo, the leader of the Pink Ladies.
The film was the highest-grossing musical film ever at the time, and its soundtrack album was the second-best-selling album of the year, behind the soundtrack of the 1977 hit Saturday Night Fever, which also starred Travolta. Grease earned an Oscar nomination for the song “Hopelessly Devoted to You,” which was sung by Newton-John, at the 51st Academy Awards.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
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