Published: Tue, October 02, 2018
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Spielberg's West Side Story Remake Gets Baby Driver Star Ansel Elgort

Spielberg's West Side Story Remake Gets Baby Driver Star Ansel Elgort

Check out a clip of Ansel singing below before he takes on Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's challenging score!

The more we learn about Steven Spielberg's "West Side Story" adaptation, the surer we are that something's coming, something good. Now, Ansel Elgort has been cast in the leading role. Richard Beymer portrayed Tony, the founder of the Jets, in the 1961 film.

Elgort recently starred in "Baby Driver", for which he received a Golden Globe nomination, as well as 2014's romantic drama "The Fault in Our Stars" alongside Shailene Woodley.

And while Elgort is certainly known for his Hollywood film work, he was born and raised in Manhattan, the son of Vogue photographer Arthur Elgort and opera director Grethe Barrett Holby, and attended Manhattan's Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, where he performed in various musicals. The show has since seen many revivals on Broadway as well as performances in the United Kingdom and tours around North America.

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In West Side Story, the action takes place in NY where Tony is a former member of the Jets street gang while Maria is the sister of the rival Puerto Rican gang, the Sharks. The feature film adaptation was helmed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins on its way to 10 Academy Awards. When the story begins, the tensions between the rival Jets and Sharks gangs led each side to the brink of war.

The movie is now on track for starting production in summer 2019.

So why is Ansel the flawless actor to introduce West Side Story to a modern audience?

Thankfully, Spielberg is taking a more authentic approach to the material and looking to cast Spanish-speaking Latino actors as the film's Puerto Rican leads. You know who can apparently do all three?

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