Ansel Elgort Snags Male Lead in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

Ansel Elgort Snags Male Lead in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

Ansel Elgort Snags Male Lead in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'

The Baby Driver star will portray Tony, an ex-gang member attempting to turn over a new leaf who eventually falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of a rival gang.

Elgort being unveiled as the first piece of the casting puzzle in West Side Story is surely a good thing, as he actually seems like a good fit for Tony. Spielberg's latest directing projects were "Ready Player One" and the Oscar nominated "The Post", starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.

All that gangly dancing around Atlanta in Baby Driver has paid off big-time for Ansel Elgort, who has been cast in Steven Spielberg's remake of the Stephen Sondheim musical, West Side Story. The story takes place in 1950s NY and is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

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West Side Story is also largely based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and it features a star-crossed romance between Tony and a girl named Maria. The performing arts-focused school, made famous in Fame, is located around Lincoln Square - the arts district built on the demolished tenement neighborhood that was, indeed, the West Side in West Side Story. The film adaption absolutely cleaned up at the Academy Awards, receiving 11 nominations and winning ten, including Best Director for Wise and Robbins along with Best Picture. Now that Elgort has officially signed on for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, it's believed that the production will be able to stay on schedule for the 2019 summer production start.

The production team has held auditions over the course of many months in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico for actors, singers and dancers to round out the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter, with talk of an unknown playing opposite Elgort as Maria.

Lucky for him, Elgort fits that bill to a tee.

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