Ready or not, it sounds like America is getting a remake of West Side Story directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. Broadway World reports that a casting call has gone out for the project, confirming long standing rumors that nothing is sacred.
Here’s what Steven’s looking for:
Casting director Cindy Tolan is seeking actors to play the musical’s four leading roles: Maria (18-20), Tony (18-23), Bernardo (20-24) and Anita (20-24 years). All four actors must be able to sing, and Maria, Anita and Bernardo must be able to speak Spanish.
With known #knower Steven at the helm, I’m going to go out on a limb and say we might be getting the Woke West Side Story (WWSS) we didn’t ask for. In 2009 there was a Broadway revival that was bilingual (with much of the Sondheim lyrics being translated by Lin-Manuel Miranda) so maybe that’s the direction Steven and Tony are going to take. It’s encouraging that he’s looking for Spanish speaking actors since Natalie Woods’ brown face in the original movie makes me really sad, but I have an icky feeling about this. Steven’s never directed a musical before, if you don’t count Newsies which he didn’t actually direct it just seems like he did.
I feel like I should start a betting pool on who they are going to cast in this thing. Here’s my #WWSS predictions:
Maria: Zoe Saldana
Tony: Tom Hanks
Bernardo: Wilmer Valderrama
Anita: Sofia Vergara
Riff: Amber Tamblyn
Officer Krupke: Oprah
Or they could go a totally different direction and cast Cher and Charo in leading roles based on this wonderful performance Michael unearthed not too long ago.