WEST SIDE STORY is coming back to the big screen

“Something’s coming—something good.”  And that something is a remake of the 1961 movie musical, “West Side Story.”  The original film­—which was based on the 1957 Broadway production by the same name—won a whopping ten Academy Awards including Best Picture.  The story is basically “Romeo and Juliet” set in 1960s New York City.  There are two rival gangs: the Sharks (Puerto Rican) and the Jets (white).  Tony, a Jet, falls in love with Maria, a Shark…and, as you can imagine during that rough and racist time in America, their affair is anything but a Disney-fied “happily ever after.”  “West Side Story” was a revolutionary musical in that it put racial tensions, gang violence, passion, and some of the most incredible dancing (by Jerome Robbins) on the Broadway stage—and later, the big screen.

Earlier this year, The New York Times announced that acclaimed director, Stephen Spielberg, and award-winning screenwriter, Tony Kushner, were planning to remake the legendary American film.  Not many production details have yet been released, and we still have a lot of lingering questions: Will someone re-choreograph Robbins’ iconic dancing?  Who will play the lead roles of Tony and Maria?  Will the story be brought into the 21st century?  The creatives have insisted that the Sharks will be played by Latino actors and actresses (in the film, Natalie Wood—of Ukranian descent—played Maria and George Chakiris—a Greek-American actor—played her brother, Bernardo).  Similar to the 2007 remake of “Hairspray,” it looks like the new “West Side Story” team hopes to cast up-and-coming talent (like Nikki Blonsky) rather than big-name Hollywood celebrities.

The casting call announcement quickly went viral all over social media.  It reads:

Searching for Tony, Maria, Anita & Bernardo

Tony is Caucasian, Maria & Anita are Latina, Bernardo is Latino

Should be between 15-25 years old

Must be able to sing

Dance experience a plus

To submit, please email a photo & video of yourself singing to westsidestorycastingsearch@gmail.com.

#WestSideStory #StephenSpielberg #JeromeRobbins #movie #TonyKushner

© 2020 by Mary Callahan