Development on the Grease prequel has picked up speed, as Brett Haley has been tapped to direct the movie musical.
It was announced in April last year that Paramount executives were working on Summer Lovin', a prequel to the 1978 musical classic starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, and now the project seems to be gaining momentum.
According to Deadline, the studio has tapped Haley to direct the film from a screenplay written by Leah McKendrick. The project will mark his first time directing for a major studio after helming independent movies such as I'll See You in My Dreams, The Hero, and Hearts Beat Loud.
The prequel takes inspiration from the song Summer Nights, in which Travolta's Danny and Newton-John's Sandy reminisce to their respective friends about the brief summer fling they had before the Australian enrolled at his high school, Rydell High. Summer Lovin', inspired by the opening phrase of the song, will detail that fateful meeting and what followed.
According to the publication, Haley won the job due to his passion for the project and his pitch, which envisioned how the story could be updated for modern audiences.
Grease previously spawned a sequel starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Maxwell Caulfield in 1982, and Paramount executives are reportedly hoping for the possibility of a renewed franchise depending on the success of Summer Lovin'.
Haley also directed teen drama All the Bright Places, starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, which was released on Netflix in February. He has also wrapped production on another Netflix project - Sorta Like a Rock Star, starring Auli?i Cravalho. It is currently without a release date.