Steven Spielberg is Directing a New Movie Version of 'West Side Story'

Lawrence Kim
January 26, 2018

According to published reports, casting director Cindy Tolan has issued an official casting call for the lead roles of Maria, Tony, Bernardo, and Anita in an upcoming remake of West Side Story, to be directed by Steven Spielberg and to feature a screenplay by Tony Kushner.

Details about Spielberg's remake are sparse, but here's what we do know: Angels in America playwright and Pulitzer victor Tony Kushner is penning the script for the new adaptation of the iconic love story.

Last week, we reported that Steven Spielberg was considering Indiana Jones 5 or a remake of West Side Story as his next project with The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara falling on the backburner because Spielberg couldn't find a child actor capable of carrying the film. (God bless Natalie Wood, but, y'know.) It'd be very easy to just put some High School Musical people in it, or some giant movie stars who can fake the singing and dancing, but they clearly want to get this one right, and kudos for that. The announcement explicitly asks for Latinx actors to audition for the latter three, a welcome sign that Spielberg won't whitewash this story.

Not much else is known yet about the new adaptation.

"West Side Story" would be the first musical for 71- year-old Spielberg. Candidates "must be able to sing", with dance experience "a plus", it said. Now, with a little help from 20th Century Fox, he's well on his way toward catching that finger-snapping white whale. While this might have been a hard trick to pull off on the stage, perhaps Spielberg will be able to try again on the big screen, thanks to the aid of subtitles.

The casting call notes that all four of the lead actors must be able to speak Spanish.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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