Four words you didn’t expect to read today: “Vanessa Hudgens as Rizzo.”
Fox has found some intriguing stars for its live Grease primetime musical. Julianne Hough (Dancing with the Stars, Rock of Ages) will star as summer lover Sandy Olsson and Hudgens (High School Musical, Spring Breakers) has been cast as her scene-stealing bad-girl friend Rizzo. Still not cast: The show’s male lead Danny Zuko.
Fox promises to “re-imagine the hit crossover musical for an entirely new generation.”
“Grease is one of the movies that made me want to be an entertainer, and I have literally been waiting my whole life to play Sandy,” Hough said. “My siblings and I watched it and played it out over and over when we were kids. This is my dream role and performing it live on television will be one of the most thrilling opportunities I’ve had in my career so far.”
Added Hudgens: “Being Rizzo is something I’ve never imagined, and I love that because it will be a new challenge. She is such an iconic character that continues to transcend generations. I cannot wait to bring her to life on live television. I’m going to be a Pink Lady!”
The event will mark Fox’s entry into the primetime event musical game following on NBC’s hugely successful The Sound of Music Live in 2013 and last December’s rather disappointing Peter Pan. Since 1978’s Grease is a more contemporary title than either of NBC’s shows, plus has a high-school setting and popular songbook, Fox is well positioned to draw a big audience. Casting Grease has been tricky, however, with several big names having been approached over the last several months.
More from Fox’s press tour event: