Everyone’s favorite ‘50s-inspired musical, Grease, is being adapted into a musical series for HBO Max, Warner Bros.' forthcoming streaming service. Based on the 1978 film classic, Grease: Rydell High will feature familiar characters and original songs.
According to HBO Max, the series is 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.
Aubrey added that the story of American high school life will be told with “the same spirit, energy, and excitement you immediately think of when you hear any of these iconic songs.”
The 1978 version was the highest-grossing live-action musical of all time before the Disney versions of Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. The film’s soundtrack has sold more than 8 million copies in the U.S. alone.
The idea of bringing Grease to television came from Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, who has developed such shows as the original Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, The X-Files, and Party of Five, as well as, stage adaptation of 9 to 5, which premiered on Broadway in April 2009 and was nominated for four Tony Awards. He also produced A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 2014.
The original Grease, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, was based on the 1971 musical of the same name. The film, which was both a critical and financial success, made nearly $400 million at the box office and earned an Oscar nomination in 1979 for "Hopelessly Devoted to You."
The film, which has spawned several remakes and adaptations, including a 1982 sequel starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield, recently aired as a live version of Grease starring Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, and Vanessa Hudgens. The 2016 broadcast had more than 12 million viewers and won five Emmys.
In April, a Grease prequel, titled Summer Loving, was announced. It is being written by Aladdin screenwriter John August and will explore Danny and Sandy's summer romance.
HBO Max, which is slated to launch next year, will feature a mix of library content, including Game of Thrones, Friends, Big Bang Theory, and originals such as a new take on Gossip Girl and The Boondocks, as well as a new female-focused installment of Dune.