Grease Prequel 'Rise of the Pink Ladies' Announces Cast And Starts Filming

by Marie Holmes

Dust off your matching jackets—the new Pink Ladies of Grease are ready to roll!

Paramount+ has officially announced the cast of its upcoming Grease prequel, Rise of the Pink Ladies, which has already begun filming in Vancouver.

Set in 1954, four years before the original Grease story, the series will follow “four fed-up outcasts” who “dare to have fun on their own terms, sparking a moral panic that will change Rydell High forever.”

The ensemble cast is significantly more diverse than the 1978 movie musical, and full of fresh faces. The ten-episode series will feature Marisa Davila (My Big Fat Blonde Musical) as Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells (Little Shop of Horrors) as Olivia, Ari Notartomaso (Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin) as Cynthia, Tricia Fukuhara (Totally TV’s The Super Pops) as Nancy, Shanel Bailey as Hazel, Madison Thompson (Ozark) as Susan, Jonathan Nieves (Penny Dreadful: City of Angels) as Richie, Jason Schmidt as Buddy, and Maxwell Whittington-Cooper as Wally. Emmy-nominated actress Jackie Hoffman (FEUD, Only Murders in the Building) will play the role of Assistant Principal McGee.

From writer and executive producer Annabel Oakes (Atypical, Transparent) and executive producer and director Alethea Jones (Made for Love) the show features music by Justin Tranter and choreography by Jamal Sims.

Paramount Television Studios and Paramount+ Original Scripted Series president Nicole Young promises “electrifying musical numbers you will fall in love with,” and says “Annabel and Alethea have managed to brilliantly capture the spirit of the iconic beloved classic film which like Rise of the Pink Ladies is both set in the past but relevant to the present.”

In the original film, there are four Pink Ladies: Rizzo, Frenchy, Marty, and Jan. Stockard Channing played smoky-voiced Betty Rizzo, the group’s defiant leader and nemesis of Olivia Newton John’s goody-two-shoes Sandra Dee. The gang of high school girls wore matching rose-colored jackets, smoked, drank, fooled around with boys, and fearlessly mocked the straight-laced culture that surrounded them.

The episodes will be released on Paramount+ later this year. We can’t wait to see what kind of trouble the Pink Ladies get into!