Steven Spielberg’s future plans may include a remake of West Side Story sometime after he makes Indiana Jones 5. The proposed musical remake has been a long-time dream of the legendary director, who is credited by many with creating the modern blockbuster movie.
Released in 1961 as a film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show, West Side Story updated William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet for the modern day. The musical reset the classic tale in Manhattan, with the feud between two powerful Italian families becoming a battle for turf between two rival gangs, The Sharks and The Jets. Star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria became caught in the middle of the conflict and their romance ended in tragedy, as in the original Shakespeare tale.
Deadline broke the story regarding Spielberg’s plans, following the release of his upcoming film adaption of the novel Ready Player One. Spielberg is already signed on to direct a new Indiana Jones movie, which is due for release in 2020. Harrison Ford is attached to the film, though rumors persist that Spielberg and George Lucas are considering rebooting the franchise with another actor in the role of the titular archaeologist/adventurer.
Although Spielberg has declined to comment on his specific plans, he did affirm his dreams of remaking West Side Story someday. He is said to be considering several projects but the fifth Indiana Jones movie will definitely be the next item on his list, with another film to follow shortly after. This rapid pace is typical of Spielberg, who famously shattered box-office records in 1993 with Jurassic Park before going on to win multiple Academy Awards for Schinder’s List at that year’s Oscars, after filming both movies back-to-back.
Despite his success, a West Side Story remake still seems like an odd passion project for the legendary director (who has never directed a musical) to pursue. Complicating matters is the fact that the original West Side Story is an undisputed classic, selected for inclusion in The National Film Registry in 1997 and deemed “culturally significant” by The United States Library of Congress. It has also won ten Oscars, including Best Picture – a feat even Stephen Spielberg might find it difficult to match, much less top!
On the other hand, musicals are once again becoming big in Hollywood following the release of La La Land and The Greatest Showman. While Spielberg has never directed a musical, he certainly knows how to handle a spectacle-driven film. And if there is any director who can pull off the impossible task of improving upon a classic like West Side Story, it is Steven Spielberg.
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