Trivia for West Side Story
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- Emma Stone, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Lawrence were rumored for roles, but those rumors were debunked.
- This will be the first time that Spielberg directs a musical after the failed project Reel for Reel.
- Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Tony Kushner previously worked together on Munich (2005) and Lincoln (2012). They are also working together on the upcoming film The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara.
- Naya Rivera has expressed interest and sent an audition tape in for the role of Anita. She had previously played this role (and sung the song "America") in Glee (2009), during The First Time (2011), during the school's performance of "West Side Story".
- The original West Side Story (1961) was directed by Robert Wise, who later directed The Andromeda Strain (1971), which was based on a Michael Crichton novel. Steven Spielberg actually met Crichton on the set of that film, and later adapted another one of his novels, "Jurassic Park."
- This will be the second time Steven Spielberg has produced a remake of a film directed by Robert Wise. He previously produced The Haunting (1999). The original film also featured West Side Story cast member Russ Tamblyn.
- Spielberg's previous film The Post (2017) featured David Cross, whose father-in-law is original cast member Russ Tamblyn.
- The original film featured future Twin Peaks (1990) cast members Richard Beymer and Russ Tamblyn. Spielberg once tried to direct an episode, but had to withdraw due to scheduling issues. He has worked with several Twin Peaks cast members himself: Don S. Davis in Hook (1991), Laura Dern in Jurassic Park (1993), and Ian Abercrombie in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Jurassic Park III (2001), which he produced, also featured Téa Leoni, then-wife of Twin Peaks cast member David Duchovny.
- The movie will include the Spanish dialogue and lyrics from the 2009 Broadway revival.
- This is Spielberg's first remake since War of the Worlds (2005).
- At one point, Rita Moreno said she wouldn't make a cameo in the movie, but eventually agreed to play the role of Valentina, which is a re-imagining of the character of Doc, who saved Anita (Moreno's character in the 1961 film) from nearly being raped in his drugstore.
- Screenwriter Tony Kushner has stated the film will be more in line with the original Arthur Laurents book than the 1961 film adaptation.
- One of Spielberg's first films, 1941 (1979) was originally going to be a musical.
- Steven Spielberg's fourth film without a John Williams score.
- Steven Spielberg and Robert Wise have both directed a film starring Richard Attenborough. Wise directed him in The Sand Pebbles, and Spielberg in Jurassic Park. Attenborough also appeared in the 1994 Miracle on 34th Street which, like this film, was a remake of a film that starred Natalie Wood.
- Arthur Laurents, who wrote the book for the original Broadway production of "West Side Story," felt the 1961 film version was very flawed due to "bogus accents, bogus dialect, bogus costumes."
- An earlier attempt to remake West Side Story occurred in 1996, when Walt Disney Pictures (who would eventually acquire 20th Century Fox in 2019) planned to do an adaptation of it set in the 1990s. This version was to have been directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, but eventually, the plan did not come to fruition.