Steven Spielberg will remake the acclaimed 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story, Indiewire reported. The Academy award-winning director has put out a casting call for the main roles of Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo.
The notice reads, “Must be able to sing. Dance experience a plus.” The notice specifies that three of the four main characters must be Latin American.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story chronicles the love story between Tony and Maria, who belong to rival teenage street gangs. While Tony is a former member of the white gang Jets, Maria is the sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. West Side Story had music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
The musical was adapted into a film in 1961 by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, featuring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. The film was nominated for 11 Oscars and won 10, including the award for Best Picture.
The upcoming remake will see Spielberg teaming up with screenwriter Tony Kushner, who has worked with him on Munich (2005) and Lincoln (2012). Spielberg’s film will be produced by 20th Century Fox.