A 'Center Stage' TV Series Is in the Works
Get those ballet shoes ready, Center Stage may be breathing new life.
The beloved 2000 dance movie, which launched the careers of Amanda Schull and Zoe Saldana, is being adapted into a potential television series with Sony Pictures Television, ET confirms. (Tuesday marks Center Stage's 20th anniversary.)
As Deadline first reported, the new project -- which is still in early development -- will be a follow-up series picking up after the events of the original movie.
If it moves forward, Center Stage would be set in present day in the competitive world of dance. It follows a new, inclusive class of dancers as they work to stay at the American Ballet Academy and clash against the traditional students and style the ABA is known for. Ballet has always been a conformist world, but with Cooper Nielson now at the helm of the ABA and the American Ballet Company, change is on the horizon.
In the original film, Cooper was played by Ethan Stiefel. It is unclear if he would reprise his role.
Alongside Schull, Saldana and Stiefel, tha e original Center Stage cast included Sascha Radetsky, Susan May Pratt, Ilia Kulik, Peter Gallagher, Donna Murphy, Julie Kent, Debra Monk, Eion Bailey and Shakiem Evans. Schull, Stiefel, Radetsky and Kent were professional ballet dancers, while Saldana had dance training and Kulik was a professional figure skater.
The 2000 film also produced one of the most memorable dance moments in movie history, when the ballet company dance to Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat." Watch the routine below.
The success of Center Stage spawned two TV movie sequels: 2008's Center Stage: Turn It Up, which introduced Rachele Brooke Smith and Kenny Wormald, and 2016's Center Stage: On Pointe, which starred Nicole Munoz and Barton Cowperthwaite. Original cast members Gallagher, Stiefel and Radetsky returned for the sequel films.
Last summer, ET was on the set of Suits in Toronto, where Schull reflected back on her time on Center Stage.
"I have so many memories from that set because that was like we were all kind of in the same boat. We are all around the same age. In all honesty, I was the least experienced in either world, dance or acting, of any of the other actor or dancer/performers on the show. But we got along so well. We would get together every single weekend," Schull shared. "If I have one memory of shooting, there's a scene where we're washing the windows and then we start having a soap-suddy fight and director Nicholas Hytner kept saying, 'We can only take it up to a certain moment because we can't shoot around your sopping wet hair and [have] soap suds everywhere so I'm going to call cut and you guys need to behave yourself and cut.'"
"So we would wash the windows, we did a little bit of the dialogue and then we'd get ready and we were all just ready to go and he'd have to scream 'cut, stop, stop, freeze' because all of us were just so gangbusters to get in on the fun," the actress continued. "Once we started, they had a very difficult time stopping us. Actually, my parents were watching that day too, so that's a really fun memory."
In 2016, ET also spoke with Gallagher about the staying power of Center Stage.
"I really realized it on the street more. I just didn’t understand [its effect]. In the Broadway shows I’ve done since, because you have direct contact with the fans -- my mother-in-law’s dance students were just so passionate people about that movie," Gallagher reminisced. "And I was happy about it because that first Center Stage was particularly thrilling. Things like dance will never cease to enthrall and inspire many, many, many people. That was the lesson to me: If you somehow show dance in an honorable light, it will work its magic."
Center Stage is now streaming on Netflix.
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