Vanessa Hudgens has just signed on to co-star alongside Julianne Hough in Fox’s Grease: Live. Hudgens will reprise the role of Betty Rizzo, the tough sarcastic leader of the Pink Ladies. “Rizzo” was played by actress Stockard Channing in the 1978 film. Hudgens said she is looking forward to playing Betty Rizzo, although she understands the challenge of portraying such an iconic character. “Being Rizzo is something I’ve never imagined, and I love that because it will be a new challenge.” The actress continued, “She is such an iconic character that continues to transcend generations. I cannot wait to bring her to life on live television.”
Actress Julianne Hough will recreate the role of Sandy, the sweet and naive love interest of Danny. The role was originally played by Olivia Newton-John. Hough says she has been waiting all of her life to play this legendary character, “Grease is one of the movies that made me want to be an entertainer.” Hough added, “I have literally been waiting my whole life to play Sandy.” The network announced that the role of Danny Zuko, originally played by John Travolta, has not been cast yet.
Fox network will air the three hour live production from executive producer Marc Platt. Platt spoke about the influence Grease has had on pop culture, “Grease is one of the most treasured and favored pop culture phenomenons of our time.” The musical comedy film was an immediate box office success. It grossed over $8.9 million in its opening weekend, and has grossed $394 million worldwide.
Fox’s goal is to “re-imagine the hit crossover musical for an entirely new generation.” The network is hoping to attain the same magic NBC’s The Sound Music Live was able to achieve. Producers of the film will rely on Grease’s popular music to help bring in audiences, and the network believes the film’s songs will help them stand a part from the other network musicals. The soundtrack is one of the best selling soundtracks of all time. The live special aired in 2013, and managed to draw in 18.5 million viewers. Grease: Live will air January 31, 2016 on Fox.