There is no doubt that Hollywood loves remakes nowadays. Disney has jumped completely on board with their live-action remakes of their animated classics and within the next few years, we'll see plenty more. But one unspoken rule has seemed to be that previous Oscar winning Best Pictures should be untouchable. After all, these movies were awarded the highest honor Hollywood can bestow, so remaking them seems a bit sacrilegious.
But that might soon change.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, playwright Tony Kushner let it slip that he was working on a script for a remake of West Side Story with Steven Spielberg attached as either producer or director(not known which at this point). The original film won the 1961 Oscar for Best Picture.
Kushner was adamant that he was not changing the score seeing as he feels it's the greatest of all time(I agree).
"I am not changing the story, the setting, the period. It is still the Upper West Side in the late 1950s, but I’m exploring the story. I’m interested that we see love at first sight, as opposed to lust as it first sight. By the time they’re singing ‘Maria’ and ‘Tonight’ things are at a much deeper plane than just two horny kids.”
So is West Side Story something that should be remade? Or should it remain untouchable?
I won't lie, finally seeing a film version with a Latina Maria would be fantastic seeing how Natalie Wood's casting is one of the more famous examples of whitewashing in film history. But otherwise, I find it to be a perfect film and just behind Singin' in the Rain as the best of all time.
While I certainly agree that Kushner is an amazing writing talent, I don't agree with his interpretation of Tony and Maria's "lust at first sight" since it's never really been portrayed that way.
But we shall see. I have no doubt that this project will be completed and at the very least I'm glad it's being done by Speilberg and not NBC Live!