A planned remake of the movie “Dirty Dancing” will start filming within two months in the North Carolina mountains, thanks to a $4 million grant from the N.C. Department of Commerce.
Lionsgate Television plans to film a three-hour adaptation of the 1987 hit starring actresses Abigail Breslin and Debra Messing. It will air on ABC.
“Dirty Dancing” will be filmed at sites in Buncombe and Jackson counties. The original movie also was filmed partly in North Carolina.
“Two of our grantees are returning to film in North Carolina, and that is exactly what we want – repeat business,” Commerce Secretary John Skvarla said in a news release. “We want to continue long-term relationships on both the big and small screen.”
“Dirty Dancing” had received a $4 million grant last April, but the project was put on hold and the grant was returned to state coffers.
The film’s previous application said it would create 1,300 jobs and spend $16 million. Producers were then considering the High Hampton Inn in Cashiers as well as Winston-Salem’s Stevens Center Theater and Greensboro’s Carolina Theatre for filming locations. They also considered sites in Georgia, Pennsylvania and New York.
In addition to the movie reboot, two other grants were announced Friday. An independent film called “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” will receive $3.1 million to film in Jackson and Buncombe counties. It stars Frances McDormand as a small-town mom seeking answers about her teenage daughter’s death.
A $9 million grant will bring a 20th Century Fox TV show called “Shots Fired” to the Charlotte area. Sanaa Lathan stars as an investigator looking into racially motivated shootings in a small town.
The latest three grants – joining two others announced last month for Wilmington – mean the state’s film grant fund is nearly out of money for the budget year.
Last year, legislators allocated $30 million a year for the grants, which replaced a more generous tax incentive program. Additional film money won’t become available until July 1.
Only one production has been filmed in the Triangle recently: The HGTV program “Love It or List It.”
“The latest recipients, who will join previously awarded productions in the Wilmington and Research Triangle areas, show that this industry is indeed statewide,” N.C. Film Office director Guy Gaster said.