These movie sequels weren’t originally meant to be a sequel at all

Pure romance movies, on the whole, rarely get sequels. You might sometimes have something like the coming-of-age roller coaster from the “Kissing Booth” series or the meditation on the passage of time through The Before Trilogy by Richard Linklater, but most romantic movies are unique. That certainly seemed true of the 1987 blockbuster “Dirty Dancing,” featuring Patrick Swayze in his heyday dancing and romance Jennifer Grey, sending audiences swooning in the process.

The successful financial success of “Dirty Dancing” on a shoestring budget meant the studio was understandably eager to see if lightning could strike twice. It took over a decade and a half, but a sequel was finally made in 2004 called “Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights”. But in case you think the sequel has the characters from the original getting another hit of romance as they get older, “Havana Nights” has a whole new cast of characters in new locations.

In fact, “Havana Nights” has so little in common with “Dirty Dancing” that they sound like two separate stories…which they are. The screenplay for “Havana Nights” was originally an original screenplay titled “Cuba Mine” by Peter Sagal. When the decision was made to make a sequel to “Dirty Dancing”, Sagal’s script was used as the basis but heavily rewritten before filming began (per National Public Radio). “There’s not a line of dialogue that I wrote [in the movie]”said Sagal Mental Floss. “But they used my base story and there are some things in the movie, mainly the beginning and the end, that I made up.”

Kimberly B. Nguyen