23 Nov 2011
November 23, 2011, Press Dispensary. Katy Perry has beaten Emma Watson, Miley Cyrus and Amanda Seyfried in a public vote for the best stars to cast in a remake of the classic 1978 movie, Grease.
Perry and Zac Efron are the people’s choice to succeed Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, who played Rydell High sweethearts, Sandy and Danny, in the original film of the 1950s throwback musical.
Such is the conclusion of an online poll, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Sing-a-long-a Grease (http://www.singalonga.net), which will tour both Canada and the UK during 2012, to mark the 40th anniversary of the original New York stage version of Grease in 1972.
We’ve seen recent remakes of both Fame and Footloose, two other Hollywood teen musicals of similar vintage to Grease, while a planned remake of Dirty Dancing has just been announced. Is Grease next?
“Justin Bieber revealed recently that the job he most wanted was the lead role of Danny in a remake of Grease, with Miley Cyrus as Sandy”, says Ben Freedman, producer of Sing-a-longa Grease. “But we wanted to know who the public wanted.”
The answer is definitely not a pairing of Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus, which ranked just seventh when YouGov offered respondents the chance to pick it from a list of 10 celebrity pairs to play Sandy and Danny.
In fact, Cyrus polled far better when paired with Zac Efron, star of the High School Musical films, coming then in joint third position.
No less than four of the 10 pairs suggested in the poll featured Efron as Danny – and they promptly bagged the top four places, making Efron the clear choice to play Danny.
The pairing of Efron and Katy Perry, however, pipped the combination of Efron and Harry Potter star Emma Watson as the best pair to play Sandy and Danny. Then came Efron and Cyrus, Efron and Mama Mia’s Amanda Seyfried, and singer Taylor Swift with Twilight star, Robert Pattinson.
“Emma Watson has the same innocent, girl-next-door quality as Olivia Newton-John did in the original”, says Freedman. “But the people now seem to prefer someone brasher and sexier, like Katy Perry.”
Efron, the poster-boy for tweenyboppers, also has a more wholesome image than Perry. This would mean a kind of sexual role-reversal from the original movie, where Travolta’s Danny was the bad boy and Newton-John’s Sandy the good girl.
“Maybe this reversal is a sign of the times and social change”, says Freedman.
Then again, it could be just that Perry, like Newton-John but unlike Watson, is known primarily as a singer.
Efron, 24, is the same age as Travolta was when the original Grease movie came out in 1978. Perry, 27, is older than Olivia Newton-John was when she played Sandy at the age of 20. But then some of the actors playing High School kids in the original movie were in their thirties, which didn’t seem to matter.
Both Katy Perry and Zac Efron are natives of California, where the original movie was shot, though Perry now has a British connection through marriage to Brand.
Which pair would you cast to star in a modern remake of Grease?
Methodology: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2009 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 11-14th November 2011. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
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