After the relatively successful 2018 sci-fi romp Ready Player One, the director of classics like Jaws and Jurassic Park is back with a brand new project. Steven Spielberg has set his sights on a remake of West Side Story which is closer to the famous 1957 Broadway than to Robert Wise’s iconic 1961 film adaptation.
Back in 2014, Spielberg revealed his love for the source material, explaining: “West Side Story is one of my favourite Broadway musicals and one of the greatest pieces of musical literature, my goodness, one of the greatest scores and some of the greatest lyrics ever written for a musical so just let me put it this way: it’s on my mind.”
Starring Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort, West Side Story is a retelling of William Shakespeare’s timeless tale of Romeo and Juliet which is set in New York during the 1950s. Although the project was in the making since 2014, the plans are finally coming to fruition after the release date had been delayed by Disney due to the pandemic.
In an interview last year, Spielberg said: “West Side Story was actually the first piece of popular music our family ever allowed into the home. I absconded with it —this was the cast album from the 1957 Broadway musical —and just fell completely in love with it as a kid. West Side Story has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to.”
“This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it’s returned with a kind of social fury,” Spielberg added. “I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”
After the multiple disruptions faced during the Covid-19 pandemic, Steven Spielberg’s latest film West Side Story has been scheduled for an exclusive 45-day theatrical run starting from December 10 of this year.
Watch the trailer for West Side Story, below.