The next project in the trend of reboots and revivals is the musical classic West Side Story. The 1961 film skyrocketed the careers of many young starlets, including EGOT winner Rita Moreno, who portrayed Anita in the musical. The story that surrounds two lovers from opposite gangs, the Jets and the Sharks, in New York City, who dream of getting married (a modern day Romeo and Juliet).
The problem in the 60s was that the lack of minorities in the media was a major concern. The film starred Natalie Wood, a white actress portraying the Puerto Rican Maria along with mainly white actors portraying minorities, primarily Puerto Ricans on screen.
It seems though that after movements like #OscarsSoWhite this new version of West Side Story will take heed on social changes and current demographics and make sure latinos are well-represented as part of the cast.
Enter Steven Spielberg, who really needs no introduction. Spielberg has taken on the challenge of revamping the classic tale. The 71-year-old director has put out the casting calls for the new film. With inclusivity in mind, Spielberg has made sure that all casting notices include “Must be able to sing. Must be able to speak Spanish” according The Hollywood Reporter. If successfully cast, the film is set to film in 2019 with a 2020 release.
Since revivals and remakes are such a tricky territory, Spielberg knows to tread lightly so the project remains contingent on finding the right cast to fit the bill. Who knows? Maybe the project will launch the career of a new Rita Moreno.