Brett Haley has been tapped to direct Paramount’s upcoming Grease prequel, Summer Loving. The film is based on a song (yes, really) that arrives early in the classic 1978 musical that starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The duo sing ‘Summer Nights’, both recounting to their friends a summer fling they had. The prequel’s story will reportedly tackle that meeting.
Haley will direct from a screenplay by Leah McKendrick. Haley should be a good choice for this prequel, as he previously directed the very sweet, music-centric film Hearts Beat Loud, which starred Kiersey Clemons and Nick Offerman as a father-daughter band. If he can find that same feeling of genuine warmth and impressive music scenes, Summer Loving could surprise some people.
Of course, this is another instance of an unnecessary prequel. If you’re basing a film on a song that was designed to just set the scene for another film, it’s probably unnecessary. Still, that doesn’t mean Summer Loving can’t be good, and it doesn’t mean it can’t be better than the upcoming Grease HBO Max series. Yes, duelling Grease properties. In 2020!
Since Hearts Beat Loud, Haley has directed the teen romance All The Bright Places for Netflix, and also has a drama titled Sorta Like A Rock Star in post-production. Netflix will also release that one. McKendrick is best known as an actor in films such as Bad Moms and M.F.A., but she’s also written plenty of short films. This will be her first feature writing gig.