Watch who would cast for a modern day greaser. | Pretty Reel

Grease (1978) made waves as a successful adaptation of a Broadway musical. From Broadway to Hollywood, many big names have become attached to the film. John Travolta wowed audiences as the seductive bad boy, Danny Zuko. Olivia Newton-John would have viewers swoon as she perfectly portrayed the girl-next-door aspects of Sandy.

But with this film slowly encroaching on its 50th anniversary, we’ll analyze and determine who would play the film’s key roles if it were to be cast in 2022. While it may prove difficult to live up to the legacy that these iconic actors have left behind, we’re going to make a change. We will mainly focus on actors younger than the cast of Grease (1978).

7 Danny Zuko – KJ Apa

The CW

Throughout Grease, Danny Zuko proves to be more than just a main greaser. After having a summer fling with the new girl in town, Danny is inspired to change his outlook on life and work hard to become a better person. While he still maintains his friendship with his fellow greasers, Danny goes to great lengths to make his relationship work.

Danny also has to be a strong vocalist, and KJ Apa ticks all of those boxes. Just look at his performance as Archie in Riverdale. In this CW Network Original, KJ Apa starred in scenes of all kinds. Comedian, dramatic, romantic, and he’s proven himself a capable singer when the story calls for it. While it may break some hearts to change his auburn hair to Danny’s jet black, hearts will sink when they hear KJ Apa sing his summer love.

6 Sandy Olsson – Kiernan Shipka

Berlanti Productions

Sandy was the classic high school sweetheart who made hearts swoon when she walked through the door. And she made those hearts stop when she made her transformation in the film’s finale. To fill this role, we need to turn to an actress who is fully capable of playing a woman who can be both gentle and wise, as well as confident and fierce. And the ability to carry a strong solo like “Hopelessly Devoted to You” is a must.

For that, we turn to Kiernan Shipka, best known for her role as Sabrina in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and reprising her role in Riverdale. While Shipka spent a lot of time on the show illustrating Sabrina’s character growth, her background will prove invaluable to the musical film. And she showed she had incredible vocal and dancing skills to lead herself to a memorable role in the movie.

5 Kenickie Murdoch – Tom Holland


Kenickie was Danny Zuko’s fun and obnoxious right-hand man. He would also be Rizzo’s love interest throughout the film, though the two have a turbulent relationship, to say the least. Kenickie is known for the famous song “Greased Lightning”, so a fun and charismatic actor with lots of energy is a must for the role.

Enter Tom Holland. Best known for his role as Peter Paker in the MCU, Tom Holland has starred in many roles and has shown he’s more than willing to have fun in a musical setting, like when he starred on Lip Sync Battle. And while some will note that Kenickie tends to have a chip on his shoulder, Tom has experience playing flawed individuals, such as when he played Cherry in the eponymous film Cherry (2021).

4 Betty Rizzo – Chloe Grace Moretz

Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group

Betty was the movie’s mean girl of the 1970s. Immediately hating Sandy, Rizzo taunted her despite her initial friendship. Poking fun at Sandy with the song “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee,” Rizzo would also come in to show a more compassionate side. Sing about her vulnerability in “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” and help Sandy win Danny’s heart by giving her a bad girl makeover.

Chloë Grace Moretz has taken on badass roles throughout her career, including Hit-Girl in Kick-Ass (2010) and Emily Kaldwin in the video game, Dishonored 2. Providing plenty of courage to the role, Mortez would be a natural choice. for the mean girl style and the confidence that Rizzo exudes.

3 Frenchy – Hailee Steinfeld

STX Entertainment

Frenchy is the dropout of the group, dropping out of high school so he can pursue his dream of finishing beauty school. Prior to these events, Frenchy would quickly become Sandy’s first friend in high school, even supporting her when their mutual friends in Rizzo, Janice and Marty began taunting Sandy.

Hailee Steinfeld fits the archetypal high school underdog, having played similar roles in Dickinson & The Edge of Seventeen (2016). Steinfeld is notable for playing well with her fellow actresses, with an undeniable chemistry on display when she worked alongside Florence Pugh in Disney Plus’s Hawkeye. And she’s played the teenage girl in love many times before, so she’ll play perfectly well with Teen Angel when she prepares to drop out of beauty school. We’ve also seen Steinfeld’s musical chops in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) and his classic acting chops in Romeo and Juliet (2013).

2 ChaCha DiGregorio – Bella Thorne

Lions Gate

ChaCha may have only appeared for one scene, but she made her role very memorable. With good looks and exceptional dance moves, ChaCha is one of the most attractive women in the film, playing well with Danny Zuko on the high school dance scene.

Bella Thorne is the perfect actress to fill the role, with her Shake It Up dance background coming into play and the confidence she so adeptly brings to her many roles. And when it comes to carrying a strong personality, there is only to turn to the roles of Bella Thorne in The Duff (2015) and Chickfight (2020).

1 Teen Angel – Jordan Fisher

Primordial Television

The Teen Angel is notable for usually being played by a celebrity guest singer, such as when Frankie Avalon first played the role or when Boyz II Men played a trio of angels during Fox’s Grease Live! (2016). So, for this brief role, we’ll need an attractive and charming young man who can also pull off a moving rendition of “Beauty School Dropout” that will leave an impression on fans’ minds.

Jordan Fisher is no stranger to the series as he previously played Doody on Fox’s Grease Live! (2016). Fisher got everyone’s hearts racing as he sang “Those Magic Changes.” Jordan also proved he could keep up with the best dancers around when he won the 25th season of Dancing With the Stars. Seeing the young man sing along to Hailee Steinfeld’s Frenchy would be a standout memory for show-tune fans everywhere.

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Watch who would cast for a modern day greaser. | Pretty Reel

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