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Casting Call Issued for Steven Spielberg-Directed West Side Story Remake

Tony Kushner will write the screenplay for this new version.

A casting call has been issued for the lead roles in Steven Spielberg's upcoming remake of West Side Story.
(© David Gordon)

According to published reports, casting director Cindy Tolan has issued an official casting call for the lead roles of Maria, Tony, Bernardo, and Anita in an upcoming remake of West Side Story, to be directed by Steven Spielberg and to feature a screenplay by Tony Kushner. Kevin McCollum, who produced the 2009 Broadway revival of the musical, will also be a producer on the film.

The casting call notes that all four of the lead actors must be able to speak Spanish. A production date has not been set.

West Side Story, a modern Romeo and Juliet story, premiered on Broadway in 1957 and starred Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence as Tony and Maria, with Chita Rivera originating the role of Anita. The show features music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and a book by Arthur Laurents, with original Tony-winning choreography and direction by Jerome Robbins.

The musical was adapted for the screen in 1961 and starred Richard Beymer as Tony, Natalie Wood as Maria, Russ Tamblyn as Riff, and Rita Moreno as Anita. The film, codirected by Robbins and Robert Wise, was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture.

Spielberg and Kushner previously collaborated on the 2012 biopic Lincoln and the 2005 historical thriller Munich.