Steven Spielberg is doing an adaptation of West Side Story. Pulitzer prize winner and Oscar nominee Tony Kushner ( Angels in America) is onboard to pen the new adaptation of the 1957 musical. Justin Peck (Carousel) will reinvent the Jerome Robbins choreography. The show was originally written by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein. Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the movie for Fox.
Larry Kert played Tony in the original 1957 Broadway musical, which earned six Tony nods. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” and centers on the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs. Richard Beymer portrayed Tony, the founder of the Jets, in the 1961 film. That adaptation was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including best picture and best director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins.
Ansel Elgort has been cast as the lead Tony. Elgort recently starred in “Baby Driver,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, as well as 2014’s romantic drama “The Fault in Our Stars”. Elgort will star in the science-fiction drama “Jonathan” set for release in November and “The Goldfinch,” set to be released in October of 2019.
The cast, although yet to be announced, will be made up of Latino and Latina actors. Spielberg has also explicitly asked for actors aged between 15 and 25, who can sing and preferably speak Spanish.
Singers Camila Cabello and Liam Payne have already been tipped to land roles in the remake, along with Glee actress Naya Rivera, who recently posted an ‘audition’ clip on Instagram.
The soundtrack, iconic score includes “Maria”, “Tonight”, “America”, “Somewhere”, “A Boy Like That”, “I Feel Pretty” and “Gee Officer Krupke”. The remake is expected to include all the original Bernstein songs, as well as some of the iconic dance numbers from the film.
Filming for “West Side Story” is set to begin in the summer of 2019.
A release date for the film is yet to be confirmed, but anyone interested in auditioning should email a video of themselves singing along with a headshot, resume and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elgort is repped by manager Emily Gerson Saines and CAA.