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West Side Story: Steven Spielberg on the ongoing relevance of gang musicals and how it compares to ET | Ent & Arts News

Sixty years after West Side Story was first introduced on screen, legendary director Steven Spielberg remade the film for a modern audience.

When the musical was written in 1957, it was a version of Romeo and Juliet that reflected the problems of the times regarding gang wars, racial divisions and injustices.

Decades later, Spielberg admits that these themes seem less appropriate.

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Rita Moreno (left) and Ariana Devose (right) as Anita in the 1961 and 2021 versions of West Side Story.Photo: United Artists / Coval / Shutterstock and 20th Century Studios

“It’s not sad that love is still relevant, but love and hate, division, community, misunderstanding, or refusal to hear-the Westside story knows a lot and reflected in society in the 1950s. Yes, it’s more relevant today, and sadly it’s split. “

He always wanted to remake the movie, but he didn’t really have any plans for when and how it would be done.

“I’ve always thought there’s a place for us in the sense that we’re basically rethinking West Side Story for generations who haven’t heard of West Side Story and may need to share it. There were some values, some dramas, all the great music, and certainly the great intentions of the original creators of the Broadway show, “Spielberg said.

“So it was a series of things that were getting more and more exciting over the years until the end, I just said,” Well, I’m going to do it now, I never do it I’m not going to do it. “

“And I made that first call.”

Determined to find a reliable cast, Spielberg spent a year making open-casting calls around the world.

For the rookie Rachel Zegler, who was chosen to take on one of the most iconic roles in the musical theater, it was an opportunity to correct some of the casting mistakes of the past.

Natalie Wood and George Chakiris (L), Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler (R), as Tony and Maria in the 1961 and 2021 West Side Story.Photo: United Artists / Coval / Shutterstock and 20th Century Studios
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Natalie Wood and George Chakiris (L), Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler (R), as Tony and Maria in the 1961 and 2021 West Side Story.Photo: United Artists / Coval / Shutterstock and 20th Century Studios

“It’s a great honor to be able to take this musical to a new generation,” she explained to Sky News.

“And it’s an honor that no one of us will lose to add real casting and make a big leap in the vast conversation about expression in Hollywood.”

Her co-star Ariana Devose plays Anita. Rita Moreno’s Oscar-winning role when the first film adaptation was announced.

The actress says she wasn’t sure about that part at first. “Frankly, I’ve never seen Anita look like me.

“That is, Debbie Allen did the stage production, right? But Rita Moreno doesn’t look like me. Most of the Anitas we saw represent white.

“So I think, well, well, that might have been the way we defined this character.”

Ariana Devose as Anita in the West Side Story and Davi Alvarez as Bernardo.Photo: 20th Century Studios
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Ariana Devose as Anita in the West Side Story and Davi Alvarez as Bernardo.Photo: 20th Century Studios

Acquiring a role changed that perception.

She added: “Ultimately, having played that role and gaining experience in making films has made me acceptable in my community.

“As a result of this gig, I now feel more in myself and in my body.

“How wild it is to find it in the context of your work or art. It’s very special.”

West Side Story is the latest in a series of musical theaters on the big screen this year.

Film critic Scott J. Davis said he would probably talk to a distracting audience.

“Looking at the COVID, we can see that people are clearly very depressed in the garbage dump. They want a little comfort, a little escapism, and the musical offers it. “He said.

“This year, and in the last few years, they’ve seen a big boom-things come periodically.”

“Watch superhero movies. It wasn’t that many in the 90’s and 2000’s, but suddenly the number of superhero movies has exploded. I think the musical is going through its rebirth again.”

As the guy who brought us the list of Jaws, ET and Schindler-Spielberg is probably an unexpected music director and says this is a one-off at the moment.

“There are no plans other than the Westside Story in this particular medium,” he admitted.

“I’m very happy with everyone’s work. I’m also happy with my work. This was a lifelong dream for me. It started when I was 10 and when I heard the first Broadway cast. .album.”

“I can’t see anything in the future. I’m not even sure if I can overcome how much fun it was to make a Westside story.”

“The last time I felt this kind of family filmmaking was in 1981 ET.”

The timing of the movie’s release is inspirational after the death of Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the lyrics for the film’s music.

And with overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, this adaptation could see Spielberg dance away during the award-winning season.

West Side Story: Steven Spielberg on the ongoing relevance of gang musicals and how it compares to ET | Ent & Arts News

Source link West Side Story: Steven Spielberg on the ongoing relevance of gang musicals and how it compares to ET | Ent & Arts News

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