Grease is being adapted into a musical series for HBO Max, Warner Bros.' upcoming streaming service, it was announced Tuesday.
Inspired by the 1978 classic movie, Grease: Rydell High will be set in and around the world of Rydell High and reimagines the film with familiar characters and more to be introduced. Set in the 1950s, the series will feature musical numbers from the period with new original songs.
According to the official synopsis, the HBO Max series is all about "the peer pressures of high school, the horrors of puberty and the rollercoaster of life in middle America with a modern sensibility."
“Grease is an iconic pop-culture phenomenon that works for every generation, and I’m thrilled that our friends at Paramount were excited about the idea of opening up the show and putting it on a larger canvas for a weekly series,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “This is high school and life in small-town USA told on the scale of a big rock’n’roll musical. It’s Grease 2.0 but with the same spirit, energy and excitement you immediately think of when you hear any of these iconic songs. You’re the One That I Want!”
“Grease is one of the most beloved Paramount titles and it’s a thrill to be re-imagining it for today’s audience with our good friends at Temple Hill and Picturestart," said Nicole Clemens, President of Paramount Television. "When Bob Greenblatt called about bringing it to television, we knew we would be in the perfect hands because of our great working relationship with HBO Max and Bob’s genuine passion for musicals and Grease in particular.”
The original Grease starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, and made them household names following its 1978 debut. Based on the 1971 musical of the same name, the film made nearly $400 million at the box office, becoming a success both critically and financially. (It also earned an Oscar nomination in 1979 for "Hopelessly Devoted to You.")
The film has spawned numerous remakes and adaptations, including the 1982 sequel that starred Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield as the new class of greasers, along with the return of several Grease cast members. In 2016, Fox aired a live version of Grease starring Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit and Vanessa Hudgens. The broadcast was watched by more than 12 million people and went on to win five Emmys.
It was announced in April that a Grease prequel, titled Summer Loving, was being developed with Aladdin screenwriter John August penning the script for Paramount Pictures. The new film would explore Danny and Sandy's chance meeting and fling at the heart of the song, which sees Danny describing the tryst in raunchy terms while Sandy recalls a sweet, innocent encounter. However, after they part ways and Danny returns to high school for senior year, he learns that Sandy’s family isn’t leaving after all -- and she’s his classmate.
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