stay cool...

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Stay cool boys, just stay cool.

Ok it’s Saturday and what I’m about to tell you ( if you don’t already know) will either fill you with dismay or delight.

My instinctive reaction was immediately one of dismay.

Steven Speildberg is remaking West Side Story!!!

West Side Story, originally a 1957 Broadway musical, is being remade into a film by 20th Century Fox.

The remake will be directed by Steven Spielberg, with the script adapted by Tony Award winner (and Lincolnscreenwriter) Tony Kushner. The remake will represent Spielberg’s first musical project in his lengthy career.

West Side Story sets the love story of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet against a backdrop of gang culture in 1950s New York. When Jets gang memberTony falls for Maria, the sister of the leader of the Sharks, tensions rise and disaster ensues.

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The soundtrack, composed by the late Leonard Bernstein , contains a host of timeless songs including ‘Maria’, ‘Tonight’, ‘America’, ‘Somewhere’, ‘I Feel Pretty’ and ‘Gee Officer Krupke’.

The remake is expected to include all the original Bernstein songs, as well as some of the iconic dance numbers from the original film.

In the original 1961 film, Maria was played by Natalie Wood and Tony by Richard Beymer, with Rita Moreno and George Chakiris starring as Anita and Bernardo.

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Filming for the new version starts this summer with a cast that includes Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as Maria, Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, and Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino

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Jerome Robbins’ choreography is one of the most recognizable features of the original musical, but it seems Spielberg’s production may reinvent it to some degree. Justin Peck, resident choreographer at the New York City Ballet and recent Tony winner for a revival of Carousel, is attached to choreograph — his strong ballet roots suggest the choreography will at least pay homage to Robbins’ iconic moves, if not recreate many of them directly.

No release date yet and I don’t want to be one of those old people who moans “don’t mess with classic” but in this case I’m afraid I am. West Side Story is one of my escape films. One I put on, sing along, look at the pretty dresses and forget about everything that is happening in the world.

I’ll be happy to proven wrong so let’s just wait on see what Mr Spielberg gives us…

Queen Marie