Steven Spielberg Had His Heart Set on Adapting “West Side Story”
What Steven Spielberg wants, Steven Spielberg gets. Of course, it helps to be one of the most famous directors of all time. Back in 2014, 20th Century Fox had opened the vault to Robert Wise’s “West Side Story” after Spielberg expressed interest in remaking the film.
The “Ready Player One” director went on to tease a new “West Side Story” adaptation during an appearance on Good Morning America in 2014. “‘West Side Story’ is one of my favorite Broadway musicals and one of the greatest pieces of musical literature, my goodness, one of the greatest scores and some of the greatest lyrics ever written for a musical so just let me put it this way: it’s on my mind,” he hinted.
Spielberg secured the rights to the musical 15 years after first pursuing them, and by 2016, was already working with screenwriter Tony Kushner on a script.
Spielberg later gushed to Vanity Fair in 2020 that the musical always held a special place in his heart. “West Side Story was actually the first piece of popular music our family ever allowed into the home,” the Arizona native explained. “I absconded with it — this was the cast album from the 1957 Broadway musical — and just fell completely in love with it as a kid. ‘West Side Story’ has been that one haunting temptation that I have finally given in to.”
Now, it seems Spielberg can finally indulge himself by bringing his passion for the musical to life.