Steven Spielberg to Helm West Side Story Remake (And YES! You Can Be a Part of It)
Feeling pretty, witty, and bright? Well, you might want to put on your dancing shoes because West Side Story is getting a remake and it’s being helmed by Steven Spielberg himself!
Yes, the acclaimed director is bringing back the classic musical about rival gangs and forbidden love. Writing the script is Tony Kushner, who is best known for his outstanding work in Angels in America and the film adaptation of August Wilson‘s play Fences.
In line with the exciting announcement, Mark Harris of Entertainment Weekly and the film’s casting director, Cindy Tolan, tweeted a casting call to play the lead roles of Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo.
Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story Remake Now Looking for Actors to Play Lead Roles
Here is everything you need to know about this highly anticipated remake and how you can be part of it.
West Side Story is a musical based on the book by Arthur Laurents. It was inspired by the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet and tells the story of an ongoing gang war in New York City’s Upper West Side. Everything changes when Maria, the sister of Shark’s leader, Bernardo, falls in love with Tony, a former member of the rival gang, the Jets. Drizzled with dark themes, extended dance sequences, and unforgettable numbers, West Side Story has been remade into several films and Broadway productions over the years.
With all the advancements in filmmaking, the West Side Story remake is poised to become a spectacular one. The team is looking for strictly Latino actors only to play the roles of Maria, Anita, and Bernardo. The original 1961 film, although a pop culture phenomenon, was criticized for casting Caucasian actress Natalie Wood as Maria. Completing the cast were American actors Richard Beymer as Tony, George Chakris as Bernardo, and Puerto Rican actress Rita Moreno who played the role of Anita.
Spielberg and the rest of the team are careful not to make the same mistake considering the backlash Hollywood has received over whitewashing films. A good example was Spielberg’s recent conquest, Ghost in the Shell, which was torn apart by critics after Scarlett Johansson was cast as a Japanese character.
A decade-long dream
The rumors of a West Side Story remake courtesy of Spielberg and Kushner have been floating around for the past years. In fact, Spielberg admitted to The Hollywood Reporter that he’d been spending the last 15 years trying to acquire the rights to the film. Thanks to 20th Century Fox, that dream is finally coming true.
Casting the right characters will be crucial for the whole production. The casting call states that actors must be between the ages of 15 and 25 and must be able to sing and dance. An update was released by the film’s producers this week, stating that strong dance experience is necessary.Steven Spielberg to Helm West Side Story Remake (And YES! You Can Be a Part of It) by Holly