Steven Spielberg has always been renowned for his ventures in filmmaking but he is now taking a new leap of faith in the latter years of his career. Following on from his success in virtual reality sci-fi adventure, Ready Player One, he is venturing into his first ever musical.
He is directing his adaptation of the famous musical West Side Story.
The story is Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein’s musical interpretation of Romeo and Juliet, focusing on two gangs in New York. The film is now deep in production and the first teaser image has been released showing the iconic Sharks and Jets.
In the middle are the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ couple in this story, knowing in West Side Story as Tony and Maria. The star-crossed lovers will be played by Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) and new actress on the scene, Rachel Zegler with Jets to the left of them and Sharks to the right.
The rest of the ensemble is mainly constructed of newcomers experiencing their first big break but there are also some familiar faces such as Brian d’Arcy James (Spotlight) and Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris). Rita Moreno is also due to star in the production – she played Anita in the 1961 film adaptation and she will be playing Valentina, a new role. The screenplay is written by Tony Kushner (Munich) and he will be working alongside long term cinematography partner in crime, Janusz Kaminski.
Spielberg is brave to take on the remaking of a classic film as the original 1961 film was highly acclaimed. But he will relish in the challenge and we can’t wait to see what he creates.
West Side Story will be released to the UK in December, 2020.