On Thursday, Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Steven Spielberg will officially be directing and producing a new adaptation of the Broadway classic West Side Story.
Speculation started when Deadline reported that Spielberg’s next film projects would be the fifth Indiana Jones film and a remake of the beloved musical—described as “his dream project”—after directing the Oscar-nominated The Post and March’s Ready Player One. This was followed by a Broadway World report on a casting call for the film. But a picture is worth a thousand words:
The casting call notes the need for three Latino performers and one Caucasian performer to play Maria, Anita, Bernardo and Tony. The flyer puts emphasis on the age range and the ability to sing and dance.
The original 1961 film starred Richard Beymer and Natalie Wood as star-crossed lovers, white gang member Tony and Puerto Rican Maria, sister of rival gang leader Bernardo. Wood’s singing was infamously dubbed over by Marni Nixon in the film version. The film went on to sweep the 1962 Oscars, taking home 10 out of 11 nominations, including Best Picture.
The film will begin shooting after Spielberg completes filming on the next Indiana Jones. While Spielberg helms the project, Tony Kushner (HBO’s Angels in America, Fences) will adapt the stage play for the screen. Kevin McCollum and Kirstie Macosko Krieger will also serve as producers.
Fingers crossed that Spielberg’s version will live up to both the stage musical and the beloved 1961 adaptation.