The golden age of hip-hop dance films is making a glorious comeback, thanks to YouTube Red. The cinematic street-dancing masterpiece that is Step Up is being transformed into a 10-part series for YouTube’s subscription service, and the names attached to the project so far are pretty impressive.
As well as Fazion Love (of Elf fame), Glee‘s Naya Rivera (who played Santana in the show) and R’n’b crooner Ne-Yo will be joining the latest iteration of the Step Up franchised. While there is no official release date for Step Up: High Water, YouTube said the show will launch on YouTube Red in Autumn.
Step Up: High Water will put a modern slant on the classic dance-film format.
The series focuses on a group of dance students at Atlanta’s High Water Performing Arts School who are led by Sage Odom (Ne-Yo). Naya plays former dancer turned administrator Colette, a passionate mentor with secrets of her own – and a history with Sage. The show is executive produced by Channign Tatum, one of the stars of the original Step Up film, and will feature original songs by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Jason “PooBear” Boyd, who has co-written huge hits for the likes of Justin Bieber and Usher.
Lauryn McClain plays Janelle, a dancer who winds up in the Atlanta hip-hop scene after her twin brother Tal and her come to live with their Uncle Al. They meet Dondre (Marcus Mitchell) at a party, who reveals that High Water is looking for new dancers.
While an official release date hasn’t been announced, YouTube has said that Step Up: High Water will be hitting YouTube Red in autumn this year.
With the original film series grossing around $650 million, Step Up: High Water could be the show to save YouTube Red, which has struggled to enjoy the sort of success you’d expect from a sub-brand of a platform with over 1.5 billion daily users. YouTube Red are definitely banking on the strength of naughties nostalgia for this one – but with 25-34 year olds making up the largest age demographic on YouTube, they could be onto a winner.
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