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Steven Spielberg to develop 'West Side Story' for Fox? Who knows? Could be...

By Jeff Labrecque

Fox is dusting off West Side Story, the 1961 musical that won 10 Academy Awards, based on hints that Steven Spielberg is interested in developing the property for a big-screen remake. Deadline initially reported the news, which focuses equally on the role DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snyder might play if she jumps studios, and sources familiar with the project confirm to EW that wheels are in motion to make West Side Story available for the legendary director as a possible “passion project.”

Spielberg has never made a musical, and West Side Story is one of the most acclaimed movie musicals of all time. It would be fascinating to see what the director of Saving Private Ryan and E.T. would do with the tale of a Romeo & Juliet-style forbidden love affair between a boy and a girl from rival, ethnically divided New York City street gangs. The 1961 movie, starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the star-crossed lovers, won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Director (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), Best Music, and five other categories.

The most recent Broadway revival, which wove in Spanish and English dialogue, closed in 2011 after two years, but in the current age of musical-based entertainment, with hits like Glee and Les Misérables, the timing for a new West Side Story might be better than ever. No doubt the film’s casting would be some of the most competitive and publicly fascinating in years.



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 6th, 2014 04:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, my god....NO!!!
I'm praying and hoping that this DOESN'T come to pass! Doing a re-make of such a beautiful and venerable classic film as West Side Story would be nothing less than a disaster, as far as I'm concerned; it would just cut the heart and soul right out of it!

If I ever were to contact Fox and/or Steve Spielberg in person, I'd say "Leave well enough alone!" West Side Story is what it is. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

Edited at 2014-03-06 04:27 pm (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, my god....NO!!!
I wouldn't totally dismiss the idea myself. IF they had a good script based on Laurents work, kept the music intact and hired a cast that could act, sing and dance beautifully; it might be fun.

The theatrical version has evolved over the years and is still glorious so why couldn't a film version.

Plus, Stephen Sondheim is still around as are the majority of the original actors who could serve as consultants.
Mar. 6th, 2014 09:22 pm (UTC)
While I see your points, petzi, I'm still not sure a remake of the film WSS would work.
Here's why:

For starters, like most, if all movies, West Side Story definitely does reflect the times in which it was made.

Secondly, I think that Hollywood has run out of creative ideas, so that's why remakes of older films have become more and more frequent.

Thirdly, having seen the updated Broadway stage revival of West Side Story, I'm really not that sure that the theatrical stage version has evolved all that much.

Fourth: West Side Story is in a very special class all by itself, and the people who were saying that there would never, ever be a movie like it again were right.

Next, as I see it, absolutely NOTHING beats the original, if one gets the drift.

I stand by my position that, like many of these great older classic films, West Side Story is what it is, and it really should NOT be remade.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


wss crazy cool by dallowayward
West Side Story

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