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A Grease prequel is happening — and ‘Summer Nights’ spoils the entire dang thing

Tell me more, tell me more

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in Grease.
Paramount Pictures
Petrana Radulovic is an entertainment reporter specializing in animation, fandom culture, theme parks, Disney, and young adult fantasy franchises.

Paramount Pictures is working on a Grease prequel, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Entitled Summer Lovin’ the prequel will explore the events from before the hit musical, reconciling Danny’s more rowdy version of events with Sandy’s more romantic ones.

So what exactly can we expect will happen in this steamy summer romance? Well, luckily enough for us there’s an entire song in Grease dedicated to Sandy and Danny recounting their halcyon days. Who woulda thought?!

Let’s break it down:

Summer loving had me a blast
Summer loving happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be

Danny and Sandy, in general, alternate lyrics in a sort of call and response (without an actual call and response). Danny starts off saying he “had a blast.” (Unfortunately, I cannot trace the origins of this common idiom, so we have to just presume it is correct 1950s vernacular.) Meanwhile, Sandy insists that it all happened fast. Rydell High is in California, which means the summer break is roughly from early June to mid August. Sandy, however, is visiting from Australia; summer vacation in Australia is from December to January, which means that this was technically a winter break. Depending on which region of Australia she’s from, it could be anywhere from June to July, but it would only last about two weeks.

So for Sandy it could be possible that this summer loving happened too fast.

Meanwhile, Danny insists Sandy was “crazy” for him. This speaks to a passion between the two. Expect Danny to be “cute” as Sandy says, despite his greaser persona in high school.

Summer days drifting away to oh oh the summer nights

It will take place in summer. Presumably in the night time.

Tell me more, tell me more
Did you get very far
Tell me more, tell me more
Like does he have a car

The students of Rydell High serve as a Greek chorus. Well, okay maybe not. Though they do comment in a collective voice on the dramatic action — that’s what a Greek chorus does according to Wikipedia — in the context of Grease, they serve to interrogate the truth of past events. Would the Grease prequel instead feature them alongside our pair of young lovers? A so-called ... Grease chorus, if you will?

Let’s keep going.

She swam by me she got a cramp
He ran by me got my suit damp
I saved her life she nearly drowned
He showed off splashing around

Wow, man oh man. These lyrics are loaded. There’s actually a pretty popular theory that Sandy drowned and the events of Grease are merely her dreams while in a coma. A dark version of the prequel could spin the events to this instead. Otherwise, we’ll get to see Sandy and Danny’s epic first meeting which, apparently, involves Sandy almost drowning and Danny’s heroic (in his interpretation) lifeguarding efforts.

Summer sun something’s begun but oh oh the summer nights

Back to those summer nights. Expect a lot of focus on evening-related events.

Tell me more, tell me more
Was it love at first sight?
Tell me more, tell me more
Did she put up a fight?

The Grease chorus takes a bit of a dark turn for the year 2019. Hopefully Sandy doesn’t have to “put up a fight.”

Took her bowling in the arcade
We went strolling drank lemonade
We made out under the dock
We stayed out till 10 o’clock

A concrete list of events! What does this arcade look like? The year is 1958, so that’s pre-electro-mechanical and video games. That means carnival-like games like pinball, ball toss, and shooting galleries. Lemonade seems pretty standard, but for maximum accuracy, here’s a 1950s recipe. Perhaps someone will comment on a lack of high fructose corn syrup.

We also get a little frisky here with making out under the dock. There is also, now, a curfew, which means the nights part must take place sometime from 7 p.m. (roughly when the sun set in southern California in July 1958) to 10 p.m.

Summer fling don’t mean a thing but oh oh the summer nights.

But now we know those summer nights end at 10 o’clock!

Tell me more, tell me more
But you don’t gotta brag
Tell me more, tell me more
Cause he sounds like a drag

The Grease chorus gets a little salty. Perhaps this is indicative of a meta-narrative proliferating through the prequel.

He got friendly holding my hand
She got friendly down in the sand
He was sweet just turned eighteen
Well she was good you know what I mean

We get some more PDA — hand-holding and heated make out sessions. Their relationship progresses, things become more intimate, but here continues the split retelling: Sandy’s version is sweet, Danny’s is sexy. What is the truth?

Also — Danny turns 18! A birthday party, maybe? Will we find out what type of cake Danny has? Will he register to vote? Finally, we’ll know.

Summer heat boy and girl meet but oh oh the summer nights.

More! Summer! Nights!

Tell me more, tell me more
How much dough did he spend?
Tell me more, tell me more
Could she get me a friend?

This Grease chorus line doesn’t tell us much more, except to cement that the friends won’t be present in this movie, except possibly in omniscient form.

It turned colder that’s where it ends
So I told her we’d still be friends
Then we made our true love vow
Wonder what she’s doing now

Egad! The heartbreak! The drama! They decide not to pursue the relationship. This will likely be the main source of conflict in the movie and the last scene is sure to be a heartbreaking one, as our two star-crossed summer lovers swear their love. Tears will flood the eyes of theater-goers. And then they will watch Grease and remember that Sandy and Danny do end up together. Yay!

Summer dreams ripped at the seams but oh those summer nights

Summer nights!

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