Steven Spielberg is one of Hollywood’s most iconic directors. From the Indiana Jones series to Jaws, he has helped usher in the age of the blockbuster, while still winning an impressive share of accolades (and Oscars) in the process for his dramatic films. The upcoming theatrical release of Disney’s The BFG next month marks Spielberg’s 29th film; so in addition to being one of Hollywood’s greatest directors, he is also one of its most prolific.
A few years ago, the iconic filmmaker admitted to wanting to set his directing sights on a remake of (fittingly) one of the most iconic musicals in the last century: West Side Story. Though nothing was confirmed at the time, Spielberg said that a remake of the film, which is based on one of his favorite Broadway musicals, was “on [his] mind.”
Now, two years later, Spielberg has again admitted in an interview with the THR that this is a project he not only wants to do, but is actively working on. After fifteen years, Spielberg has finally secured the rights to the film and commissioned Tony Kushner (the acclaimed playwright and screenwriter who worked with Spielberg on Munich and Lincoln) to develop a script. Although nothing is confirmed, the adaptation, which would be a Fox/MGM co-production, has by his own admittance been the filmmaker’s dream “for decades.”
Of course, the process to procure the green light is easier said than done. The director is currently focusing his creative efforts on his new Amblin Partners company, which will distribute films via Universal. However, the relationship is complex, and Spielberg’s company has to pitch projects on a movie-by-movie basis, including release dates and marketing budgets. Indeed, Hollywood has changed since Spielberg first began his career, and attaching his name to a project (whether through his own production company or another) no longer guarantees a fast-tracked ticket to the silver screen – nor does spearheading a big-budget blockbuster imply box office success (think: the 2011, $150 million sci-fi flop, Cowboys and Aliens, which Spielberg executive produced).
That being said, the director has no intention of slowing down. In addition to next month’s BFG and the potential West Side Story remake, Spielberg has already committed to Warner Bros.’ Ready Player One, Amblin’s historical drama, The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, and Disney’s fifth installment in the Indiana Jones series. He has other projects in the early stages of development too, but won’t be able to start making any of them (West Side Story included) until after Indiana Jones 5 has been completed for its 2019 theatrical release date.
Screen Rant will continue to bring you the latest news on a West Side Story remake as it breaks.