With the news of a Wicked: The Movie now having its very own release date, it's been a good week for the world of musical film adaptations — and it's not over yet! Steven Spielberg has just announced that he's finally secured the rights and a screenwriter for his very own version of West Side Story.
Go ahead, sing it out! (It's what Richard Beymer would want.)
The lucky screenwriter tasked with adapting the Broadway bestseller for the big screen (for the second time) is the same writer Spielberg chose to pen the script for Lincoln. The aptly named Tony Kushner, a playwright in addition to a screenwriter, wrote the drama Angels in America.
The original music and lyrics of West Side Story came from the legendary Broadway partnership of Leonard Bernstein (Candide) and Stephen Sondheim (Into The Woods). While the 1961 version, starring Natalie Wood, is a precious staple for musical nerds of all ages, there's no denying that the beloved story and music could use a bit of an update. For example, it would be great to see an actual Puerto Rican or Latina actress play Maria. And now that Hollywood has fallen out of the habit of hiring separate musicians to dub the singing voices of its stars, imagine the extra layer of emotion that will shine through in the performance!
The script is just starting to get underway, so there's no word yet on casting, and it looks like we're a long way away from a release date. But for now, all we need to know is that something's comin' — something good!
Let the fan casting commence! Who do you want to see in Spielberg's West Side Story remake?
Want more musical news? Les Mis director Tom Hooper Wants To Dig His Claws Into Cats: The Movie, and these 3 Directors Want Their Shot At Directing Hamilton: The Movie.