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Spielberg's long-awaited musical = West Side Story?

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12 minutes ago, crumbs said:

I doubt this will ever see the light of day.


 

Quote

 

Spielberg has spent the better part of the year looking for stars for his movie, with actors needing to be able to sing, dance, and, of course, act their hearts out for the story that transposes Romeo and Juliet into a 1950s New York setting featuring white and Puerto Rican gangs.

The search was taking so long that Hollywood observers worried the project would be shelved, just as casting challenges caused Spielberg to shelve The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. The production looked at thousands of actors and dancers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico, with many thinking Spielberg would cast an unknown in the lead.

Elgort’s casting now puts West Side Story firmly on track for a summer 2019 production start. Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger are producing the film.

 

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ansel-elgort-nabs-male-lead-steven-spielbergs-west-side-story-1148420

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Fuck it, just cast an actor that can't sing too well and hire a voice coach. It worked for Sweeney Todd. 

 

No Spielberg film is a go until the cameras are literally rolling. Edgardo Mortara had sets built, crew hired and locations booked, but it was still put on hiatus. 

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4 minutes ago, crumbs said:

Fuck it, just cast an actor that can't sing and hire a voice coach. It worked for Sweeney Todd. 

 

I don't think it would work for West Side Story. The vocal writing there is much more lyrical in the key points. Sweeney Todd has parts that are almost akin to what I would call "tuned speech" or even "tuned scream", which is appropriate to the topic of course. For West Side Story, you need real singers.  

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I'm not familiar at all with the film or play; is the main role specifically Latino? I know Spielberg struggled to find a young Italian boy to play Mortara; I'm a bit surprised it's hard to find a young Latino actor in LA who can sing, dance and has screen charisma. 

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Nope, Tony's the polack lead.

 

 

56 minutes ago, Cherry Pie That'll Kill Ya said:

Will Ben Horne and Dr Amp have cameos?

 

Doc will constantly shout "Shovel yourselves out of the shit!" to them whippersnappers.

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If Spielberg is no longer directing this; only producing, must he really spend that much time on casting issues rather than delving into his next directorial project? He's gotta keep those movies churning out there, so we can get as many Williams scores as we can.

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I don't know why Spielberg is wasting his time with shit like this when he could be making original films for JW to score. Such a waste of talent in his twilight years. 

 

What happened to the director who wrote screenplays like AI and CE3K? 

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I'm weirdly looking forward to this.  A new adaptation of the stage musical that isn't so sound studio-bound could be really cool.  Besides, there hasn't been a movie musical with music this good in many, many years.  Sorry La La Land, you know I love you, but... Bernstein!

 

Also, Ansel Elgort is a fine young actor and I think he'll do great.

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44 minutes ago, crumbs said:

When the fuck did Ansel Elgort enter equations? 

 

I thought that’s why the thread was bumped

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ansel-elgort-nabs-male-lead-steven-spielbergs-west-side-story-1148420

 

I wonder what, if anything, Tony Kushner brings to the table.  Why hire one of America’s great dramatists for a straightforward adaptation?

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31 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I thought that’s why the thread was bumped

 

It was

 

6 hours ago, TownerFan said:

Casting for Tony announced:

 

https://variety.com/2018/film/news/ansel-elgort-west-side-story-steven-spielberg-1202964116/

 

Filming is set to begin next summer.

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4 hours ago, crumbs said:

What happened to the director who wrote screenplays like AI and CE3K? 

:lol: That's a good one. Spielberg never wrote a single word of CE3K, but...we've been over this.

 

 

 

 

48 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

 

I thought that’s why the thread was bumped

 

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ansel-elgort-nabs-male-lead-steven-spielbergs-west-side-story-1148420

 

I wonder what, if anything, Tony Kushner brings to the table.  Why hire one of America’s great dramatists for a straightforward adaptation?

Jews vs Arabs, of course. At least, its topical.

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3 minutes ago, Nick1066 said:

 

That's GOLD!!!  😂

 

Anyway, West Side Story only works when it's updated. If they really want to do this right, Spielberg should set it during the 2016 US election and have a Trump and Clinton supporter fall in love.

 

A WSS set in the current political climate with deportation and so on would definitely be interesting! And it could potentially give Spielberg another Oscar, which he likes so much.

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4 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

A WSS set in the current political climate with deportation and so on would definitely be interesting! And it could potentially give Spielberg another Oscar, which he likes so much.

 

That's perfect! She's the refugee with a heart of gold and he's the Trump loving ICE agent!

 

I see thing going places.

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This could be great if handled with care.  The originally conceived West Side Story, as a piece of musical theatre, is as fresh as a daisy, and sounds as if it was written yesterday.  The film adaptation on the other hand is horribly dated, and crying out for a remake.  I just hope whoever has the job of adapting the music (Williams would be great, if he's still around) has more respect for Bernstein's score than the producers of the original movie did.

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My main gripes are with the music - the whole thing is horribly over-orchestrated (Bernstein hated it) and it's horribly micro-edited all over the place, particularly in the prologue.  I'm also not at all convinced by the re-ordering of the songs and the changes to the lyrics (America in particular).  

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I would personally prefer that Spielberg make a movie version of Wonderful Town since it's never gotten a movie adaption, but that wouldn't be commercially viable.  I'm certainly not against this project, as others have noted it could be closer to Bernstein's original and (as I stated above) I think it could be really cool to stage this with actual location shooting.

 

Incidentally, this new recording of Wonderful Town is pretty great

 

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