It’s fine by me in America if award-winning director Steven Spielberg decides to try his hand at rebooting the famous “West Side Story.”
As reported by Showbiz 411, a casting call went out for a remake of the 1961 film of the same name.
Casting director Cindy Tolan is reportedly looking for actors and actresses to play the four lead roles in the film: Tony, Maria, Bernardo and Anita, Broadway World reported.
The screenplay for the 1961 adaptation was drafted by Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Ernest Lehman. However, this time around the screenplay was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Kushner.
If the name sounds familiar, it might be because Kushner previously worked with Spielberg on his Academy Award-nominated production, “Lincoln,” a film that earned Kushner an award for “Best Screenplay” from the National Society of Film Critics.
Spielberg reportedly recruited Kevin McCollum to be one of the film’s producers. The move is significant as McCollum served as a producer for the 2009 Broadway remake of “West Side Story.”
Another familiar face joining the production is Kristie Macosko Krieger who will also serve as a producer for the film. Krieger has worked alongside Spielberg since the early 2000s, serving as a producer for films such as “War Horse,” “Lincoln,” “The BFG,” “The Post,” and “Ready Player One.”
Showbiz 411 noted that Spielberg doesn’t want to take “any chances” with this film, specifying the linguistic abilities for hopeful actors looking to land a role.
“MUST BE ABLE TO SPEAK SPANISH,” is reportedly printed in capital letters on the casting call, according to Showbiz 411.
The original film, released on Oct. 18, 1961, through United Artists, was directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise and centers around the conflict between the Sharks and the Jets, two rival gangs with different ethnic backgrounds that live in New York City’s Upper West Side neighborhood.
The film was the second-highest grossing film in the United States that year.
It also set the record for most wins for a movie musical after it took home 11 of the 10 Academy Awards it was nominated for.
The film, which starred Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, Natalie Wood and George Chakiris, was adapted from the 1957 Broadway musical that shared the same name.
The 1957 Broadway musical “West Side Story” was written by Arthur Laurents, with music written by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics drafted by Stephen Sondheim.
As noted by Broadway World, the story is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet.”
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