Steven Spielberg Interested in Directing WEST SIDE STORY Remake

     March 5, 2014


What is Steven Spielberg up to?  That’s the question that is, more often than not, on everyone’s minds, as one of the most famous and successful directors of our time ponders what film he will make next.  Spielberg is a notoriously flirtatious filmmaker, eyeing or developing certain projects for long stretches of time before eventually deciding not to take them helm.  When he does finally settle on his next directorial effort, it all happens rather quickly and quietly as the filmmaker is known for shooting incredibly fast.

Over the past year or so since Lincoln hit theaters, the director has considered helming both a big-budget sci-fi epic and a smaller scale true story drama, but now a remake of a classic musical has apparently caught his eye, as a Spielberg-led West Side Story remake could be on the horizon.  Hit the jump for more.

west-side-story-remakeAs part of a lengthy and in-depth (not to mention very inside baseball) analysis of the future of DreamWorks, Deadline reports that Spielberg is interested in possibly directing a remake of West Side Story at Fox.  Director Robert Wise helmed the first feature film adaptation of the Broadway musical in 1961 to great success, earning a total of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director.  The story is a riff on William Shakespeare’s classic Romeo & Juliet and tells the story of two individuals from two very different rival gangs in 1950s New York City: the Jets and the Sharks.

At this point there are no formal negotiations or offers on the table, just interest on Spielberg’s end—and when Steven Spielberg is interested, studios take notice.  20th Century Fox owns the rights to West Side Story but has unlocked the story now that Spielberg has taken interest.  The director has yet to tackle a full-on musical (though one could argue Hook comes close), so it would certainly be interesting to see Spielberg’s take on West Side Story.

The filmmaker was original planning on directing an adaptation of the Daniel H. Wilson sci-fi novel Robopocalypse as his Lincoln follow-up, and he even got pretty far into casting by nabbing Chris Hemsworth and Anne Hathaway as the leads before deciding that the script needed more work.  The filmmaker put the project on hold “indefinitely”, adding that he still intends on directing it, just not straight away.  The director then set his sights on American Sniper, the Bradley Cooper-produced story of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who recorded the highest number of sniper kills ever for an American before succumbing to friendly fire on a Texas firing range.  Cooper was set to star, but then Spielberg pulled out of that project as well.

It’s unclear just exactly what Spielberg’s next project will be, but with today’s news of the filmmaker flirting with West Side Story, it sounds like Robopocalypse is still a ways off.  He’s certainly keeping himself busy by producing other features, including the upcoming Jurassic World, but I’m personally ready to see his next directorial feature—whether it be a musical, sci-fi epic, drama, or something else entirely.


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