Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story is still stuck in COVID-19 delay purgatory, but he’s not waiting around for things to clear up before moving onto his next project, and it sounds like a winner. The untitled movie will be loosely based on his own childhood in Arizona, and Michelle Williams is already circling a major role of some kind.
Spielberg will be co-writing this one, which is actually pretty rare for him. It’s the first time he’s written a movie since A.I. and only the second time he’s ever helmed a movie he also wrote (the other one was bonafide classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind). He’ll be co-writing this one with one of his favorite collaborators Tony Kushner, who wrote Spielberg projects like Lincoln and Munich. So there’s good reason to be excited about all this.
Spielberg, one of the most respected filmmaking talents of his or any generation, has often talked about how formative his childhood was for the kinds of stories he wants to tell. From many filmmakers, a movie like this would come across as a vanity project but Spielberg has more than earned the trust of both American audiences and Hollywood talent. He reportedly launched a sweeping search for the right person to build this cast around and was “blown away” after meeting with Williams.
We don’t know much more than that at the moment, but the movie is expected to start shooting later this summer, so we shouldn’t have to wait long.