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It's happening! Steven Spielberg to remake West Side Story

The original film, released in 1961, bagged 10 Oscars

Devlina Ganguly @DevlinaGanguly 27 January 2018, 6:06 PM
Spielberg's movie The Post has bagged the Oscars Best Picture nomination

Spielberg's movie The Post has bagged the Oscars Best Picture nomination Image: AFP

After terrorising people with the monsters of the sea in his 1975 film Jaws, Steven Spielberg is all set for his second tryst with 'sharks'. Hold on, the legendary filmmaker is not coming back with another scary roller-coaster with the fearsome under-water creatures, rather, he will be bringing back to movie buffs a tale much loved — West Side Story — about two gangs, the Sharks and the Jets, and the tragic love story of a man and woman caught in between.

Yes, you heard that right. The original film, released in 1961, which had bagged a whopping count of 10 Oscars, will be brought back to celluloid by the celebrated auteur. The script will be penned by Tony winner (and Lincoln screenwriter) Tony Kushner; the cast, however, is yet to be finalised.

A casting call was recently released that asked actors to fill in the key roles of Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo. Cindy Tolan, the film’s casting director, posted an image of the announcement on Twitter.

What is significant is that the announcement specifically asked Latino actors to audition for the latter three roles, thereby signalling that Spielberg will not be whitewashing this story. In the original film, the three characters were played by Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno (who is Puerto Rican), and George Chakiris. Tony will be played by a white actor, as was in the original by Richard Beymer.

The actors need to be aged between 15 and 25 years, and must be able to sing and dance, which is pretty obvious as this is a musical. Dance experience is being considered 'a plus' for this popular production, which boasted original choreography by Jerome Robbins (who also co-directed the 1961 film).

And to add some zing to your weekend, we leave you with Mambo from the 1961 film. Get grooving, peeps!


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