Next summer, Steven Spielberg’s is revisiting the battle between the Jets and the Sharks in his remake of West Side Story. Now, Ansel Elgort has been cast in the leading role.
Via Variety, Elgort will play Tony, the co-founder of the Jets. The role was originated on screen by Richard Beymer in the classic 1961 adaptation of West Side Story. Elgort has previously starred in Baby Driver, The Fault in Our Stars, and The Divergent Series. Elgort’s next film will be a sci-fi project called Jonathan. Outside of his Hollywood roles, Elgort is also a singer. He’ll probably get his chance to show off his voice in the new remake.
Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim wrote the original West Side Story as a musical. It was released as a Broadway show in 1957. Leonard Bernstein created the music for the show, which went on to earn six Tony nominations. The feature film adaptation was helmed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins on its way to 10 Academy Awards.
West Side Story is also largely based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and it features a star-crossed romance between Tony and a girl named Maria. While Tony is closely tied to the Jets, Maria’s brother, Bernardo, is the leader of the Sharks. When the story begins, the tensions between the rival Jets and Sharks gangs led each side to the brink of war. Tony and Maria’s courtship helped push that conflict over the edge.
Tony Kushner wrote the new script for the West Side Story remake, which is expected to begin filming in the summer of 2019.
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