Steven Spielberg, Guillermo del Toro, Leonardo DiCaprio. By my estimation, those are the three of the busiest guys in the film business, each attaching themselves to projects left and right, with only a select few of them ever actually seeing the inside of the theater.
Deadline reports that Spielberg is interested in directing a remake of the classic 1961 musical West Side Story, but before you grab your switchblades and choreograph a dancing protest in the streets, keep in mind that this is far from a done deal. Spielberg has expressed interest, and 20th Century Fox – a studio that has been trying to coax the world’s most famous filmmaker to their lot for a long time – is simply providing him with that option should he choose to explore it further. There’s no script, no cast…nothing is in place yet.
So why even talk about it at all? For one thing, at the very least this news will bring some attention back to the original West Side Story. The film is over 50 years old at this point, and I imagine there are a lot of you reading this who have never seen it; I’d encourage you to check it out, since it’s one of the most iconic classics in American cinema. For another thing, this is Steven Freaking Spielberg we’re talking about here, and pretty much anything the guy attaches himself is news for movie nerds like us. West Side Story is extremely dated – in a good way – with its music, choreography, and costumes, so what would a modern day version even look like? And is Spielberg really the right guy to bring that to us?
It’ll be interesting to see how far along in the development process this goes. The director has never helmed a musical before, and if he’s aiming to make a mark in pop culture, there probably isn’t a better target than a remake of one of the most famous musicals ever made.
What do you think? Are you interested in the possibility of Spielberg directing the Jets and the Sharks, or would you rather see this classic left alone?
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