December 10, 2018

Spielberg's West Side Story Remake Gets Baby Driver Star Ansel Elgort

03 October 2018, 05:48 | Max Haynes

Baby Driver Star Ansel Elgort Will Headline Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

‘West Side Story’: Ansel Elgort To Star As Tony In Steven Spielberg’s Adaptation

Tony Kushner wrote the adaptation of the 1957 musical originally written by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein, and concept, direction, and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Peck's Broadway bona fides, along with the ground-floor involvement of Angels in America playwright Kushner, seems right in keeping for this most NY of all classic stage musicals.

Ansel Elgort has been cast as Tony in Steven Spielberg's adaptation of the Broadway musical "West Side Story".

The Baby Driver actor will play Tony, a role first played by Larry Kert in the 1957 Broadway musical and then Richard Beymer in the 1961 Oscar winning movie.

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Perhaps remarkably, given the play and film's iconic and critically acclaimed nature - the movie cleared up at the Academy Awards with ten Oscars and an Honorary Award, while the '58 play collected two Tonys - this is the first remake and is expected to stick with a 1950s time period. The story takes place in 1950s NY and is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

The turf wars between the white gang that Tony co-founded and once belonged to (the Jets) and the Puerto Rican gang that Maria is involved in through her family ties (the Sharks) reach a fever pitch in West Side Story.

It's worth noting that West Side Story isn't a ideal depiction of race relations, especially when considering prior efforts to bring the musical to the big screen.

The 24-year-old Billionaire Boys Club actor has landed the male lead in the film, THR reports. There's no word yet whether the other stars will be established or unknown actors, but with filming set to start in summer 2019, expect more announcements in the coming months. This remake marks a huge next step for the actor, who has never done a musical before and does have some big shoes to fill, given the blatant legacy of this production, to begin with. Elgort has previously starred in Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Divergent Series.

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