The Sharks and Jets are set to face off once again in the latest Hollywood reboot. Acclaimed director Steven Spielberg is working on a remake of the iconic musical West Side Story, which was revealed when a casting call for some of the film’s major roles surfaced online.
“Yes it’s real,” tweeted casting director Marci Liroff, who also encouraged actors to submit their materials for the available roles. “Yes, do it!!”
Actors for the 20th Century Fox project are being sought to fill the key roles of Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo, and the announcement explicitly requests that Latinx actors audition for the latter three, an encouraging sign that the film won’t suffer from the whitewashing for which Hollywood has come under fire in the past (and which plagued the original movie musical).
Other requirements listed on the casting call are ages (between 15 and 25), and the fact that submitting actors must be able to sing. Dance experience is listed as “a plus.”
The film’s screenplay will be adapted by Tony Kushner, who has also written the screenplays for previous Spielberg films such as Munich (co-written with celebrated screenwriter Eric Roth) and Lincoln.
Spielberg, whose current film The Post is up for a Best Picture Oscar, has been talking for years about remaking West Side Story, telling The Hollywood Reporter back in 2016 that it was finally in the early stages of writing after he’d been trying to acquire the rights for 15 years.
So far, casting news on the film’s other roles has not been announced, and no release date has been set.
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(photo via Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)