Rumors have been swirling for years that Steven Spielberg had his eye on a potential West Side Story remake, and now, according to Spielberg himself, those rumors are true.
Spielberg sat down recently with The Hollywood Reporter for a lengthy interview, and he revealed that yes, he has secured the rights to remake the Oscar-winning movie. Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner is currently working on a script, and Spielberg would make the potential project with Fox and MGM.
Spielberg also told THR that the West Side Story remake is a longtime passion project and something he’s hoped to adapt “for decades,” adding that he originally tried to get the rights 15 years ago.
Kushner and Spielberg previously teamed up on both Lincoln and Munich, with Kushner penning the screenplays and Spielberg directing.
If the project comes to fruition, it would be an interesting departure for Spielberg, who’s never made a movie musical. And as far as movie musicals go, few are as iconic as the original 1961 West Side Story, which won 10 Academy Awards, including best picture. Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer starred as star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony, with Marni Nixon and Jimmy Bryant dubbing their singing voices. Rita Moreno also made Oscar history with her role as Anita, becoming the first Latina actress to win best supporting actress.