Recasting Retros: Grease (1978)

Is it time to give Grease Lightin’ a fresh lick of paint?

Probably not, but Close-up Culture’s James Prestridge has still given himself the punishing task of recasting one of his beloved childhood films.

Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) – Joe Keery

With his quaffed hair and musical background, Keery is a ready-made fit for life at Rydell High. The Stranger Things star has the cheek and cool-factor to be the next Kenickie.

Rizzo (Stockard Channing) – Zendaya

The easiest casting choice of the bunch. Zendaya is not only capable of delivering on Rizzo’s feistiness, but this thoughtful actress would also elevate the character with a fresh spin and some new layers.

Leo (Dennis Stewart) – Charlie Heaton

Heaton’s look make him an easy choice for Grease’s antagonist. He would need to bring out a sneeringly arrogant performance to be a worthy adversary for his Stranger Things co-star, Keery.

Frenchy (Didi Conn) – Hailee Steinfeld 

Steinfeld has the versatility to make Didi Conn’s unique role her own. Although Steinfeld has all the attributes to play Sandy, her hopefully eyes and vulnerability (see Pitch Perfect 2) are needed for a memorable Beauty School Dropout.

Danny (John Travolta) – Noah Centineo

Travolta’s triple threat shoes are almost impossible to fill, but this teen heartthrob would make a magnetic and charismatic leader of the T-birds.

Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) – Madison Iseman

Considering Newton-John was 30 years old when she played Sandy, one might be forgiven for picking fellow-Aussie Margot Robbie (29) to take this iconic role.

But, sticking with actors closer to high school age, Iseman is an all-rounder who could live up to this iconic role. Iseman’s musical YouTube past demonstrates she has the voice to nail Sandy’s big numbers, and her role in Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle indicates she has the attitude to pull off the You’re The One That I Want transformation.

Who would you cast? Let us know below.

Leave a Reply