Jake Lipson

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Title: West Side Story

Genre: Musical, Crime, Romance

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Rita Moreno, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Corey Stoll, Brian d'Arcy James, Josh Andrés Rivera, Mike Faist, Ana Isabelle, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Maddie Ziegler, Andrea Burns, Kyle Allen, Beorht Ayisi, Curtiss Cook, Jamie Harris, Ezra Menas, Ben Cook, Sean Harrison Jones, Patrick Higgins, Julius Anthony Rubio, Ricardo Zayas, Sebastian Serra, Carlos Sánchez Falú, Jamila Velazquez, Talia Ryder, Jamiyka Jones

Release: 2020-12-18

Plot: A remake of the 1961 film about two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.
http://deadline.com/2018/01/steven-...est-side-story-directing-vehicles-1202262857/

Spielberg usually gets what he wants, but I cannot understand the value of remaking this film when the original is as close to perfect as it gets. If he wants to make a musical, I'm all for that but I wish he would use his considerable clout and talent to film one that hasn't been made into a movie before.

I mean, if someone is going to make a West Side Story remake, at least Spielberg is too good to dismiss. But it still seems like a missed opportunity for him to do something genuinely new.

Thoughts?
 

Josh Steinberg

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When it was recently (semi-recently) revived on Broadway, Lin-Manuel Miranda was brought in to rewrite the lyrics to many of the songs in Spanish. If Spielberg is doing a new adaptation, having the Spanish-speaking characters actually singing in Spanish could be a reason to justify its existence.

But I'd be perfectly content to allow the original film to stand alone as is.
 

B-ROLL

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Perhaps they'll take out the music and change the title to Romeo & Juliet or Tony & Maria ;)
 
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TravisR

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I mean, if someone is going to make a West Side Story remake, at least Spielberg is too good to dismiss. But it still seems like a missed opportunity for him to do something genuinely new.

Thoughts?
If Spielberg is interested, I'd assume he has some good and different take on the material. Remake or not, I'm not particularly into musicals so while I'll see it based solely on Spielberg, I'm not counting the days or anything.
 

Jake Lipson

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this is just a rumor
I don't think Deadline, which is a highly respected industry trade, really traffics in rumors. If they're reporting it, there has to be some weight behind it. That being said, it may or may not actually come together. But I believe that he wants to do it. And like I said, Spielberg usually gets what he wants.
 
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Matt Hough

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I think it's a foolhardy notion whether they do it in period, update it for present day, or let the Sharks speak and sing in Spanish.

If you want to remake a classic film musical, remake one that wasn't done very well the first time around: Porgy and Bess or Camelot or do the musical version of Irma La Douce or Fanny.
 

Tino

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I don't think Deadline, which is a highly respected industry trade, really traffics in rumors. If they're reporting it, there has to be some weight behind it. That being said, it may or may not actually come together. But I believe that he wants to do it. And like I said, Spielberg usually gets what he wants.
From the article you linked:

“I’m hearing that one might be his dream project, a new version of West Side Story. Spielberg’s camp had no comment on his plans.”

That sounds like a rumor to me.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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If you want to remake a classic film musical, remake one that wasn't done very well the first time around
I think that's a great rule of thumb for all remakes, musical or not. If the original film was great, leave it alone. If the original film had a great idea that was done badly, take another shot at it.
 

B-ROLL

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I think it's a foolhardy notion whether they do it in period, update it for present day, or let the Sharks speak and sing in Spanish.

If you want to remake a classic film musical, remake one that wasn't done very well the first time around: Porgy and Bess or Camelot or do the musical version of Irma La Douce or Fanny.
You forgot there's this lost alien from another planet who doesn't like to be in America ... ;)
 

DFurr

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What could possibility go wrong? I don't care about Jones, but please, please leave WSS alone.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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When it was recently (semi-recently) revived on Broadway, Lin-Manuel Miranda was brought in to rewrite the lyrics to many of the songs in Spanish. If Spielberg is doing a new adaptation, having the Spanish-speaking characters actually singing in Spanish could be a reason to justify its existence.
I agree, this is one of the few classics with interesting avenues of exploration for a remake. Using the bilingual 2009 libretto is the most obvious one, but also using a cast of Puerto Rican actors and actresses for the Sharks. There's also room to make both gangs feel more dangerous than they did in the original movie, and to better meld the stuff shot on location with the stuff shot on sound stages.

There are certain things that any remake will fall short on: You're never going to top Jerome Robbins's choreography, for instance. But I think there's room for another different adaptation that doesn't supplant the Wise classic but exists alongside it.
 

usrunnr

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With Amazon practically giving away WSS blu the last few years, I was hoping someone was doing a restoration to correct the mistakes on the current version.
 

Josh Steinberg

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With Amazon practically giving away WSS blu the last few years, I was hoping someone was doing a restoration to correct the mistakes on the current version.
Unfortunately, MGM already did issue one fix to that, which still didn't quite correct the problem. The appear to be satisfied with this master and made it available as a DCP to repertory theater. I suspect it's unlikely that they'll fix something that they believe is fine.
 
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