Where were you when you first watched Center Stage? Were you team Charlie or team Cooper? It's hard to believe that the iconic ballet film just had its 20th anniversary on Tuesday, but Hollywood couldn't have given fans a better way to celebrate. Deadline just announced that the hit movie will now be adapted into a television series (cue the Jody Sawyer fouettés).
The film helped launch the acting careers of Amanda Schull and Zoe Saldana, and turned Ethan Stiefel and Sascha Radetsky into certified ballet heartthrobs. The movie's passionate following lead to not only one, but two sequels: Center Stage: Turn It Up in 2008 and Center Stage: On Pointe in 2016.
Created and written by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, the new series, also titled Center Stage, is a continuation of the original, set in today's highly competitive ballet world. It will bring us back the fictitious American Ballet Academy, now run by Cooper Nielson, and follow a new, diverse group of dancers as they work to keep their spots and clash against the New York-based school's traditional style.
Amanda Schull and Ethan Stiefel on set while shooting Center Stage
Casting is still being determined, but that's not going to stop us from speculating. (Stiefel, retired from the American Ballet Theatre stage and focused on teaching and choreographing, has appeared in all three movies; will he make a comeback?).
In the meantime, we touched based with the real-life "Charlie," who echoes every bunhead's excitement about the upcoming show. "How fun that the film will be adapted to television," says Radetsky, now the artistic director ABT's Studio Company. "I hope the series cleaves to the director of the film's vision, which was to make ballet the central character and to broadcast quality dancing to a wide audience."
Which ballet stars of today do you dream of seeing on the show?