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Steven Spielberg's West Side Story is on track for summer production start / VANITY FAIR

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Steven Spielberg's upcoming film adaptation of West Side Story-the classic musical about rival street gangs in 1950s New York City-has found its male lead, Ansel Elgort, and is on track for a summer production start. Still, the Oscar winner isn't quite ready to discuss the remake publicly. "I don't like to talk about things when I'm in the process. I'm still discovering things as I am working on the film. But I think it's going to be special," said Spielberg at the Arthur Miller Foundation Honors in New York on Monday, where he turned out to support West Side Story screenwriter Tony Kushner-recipient of the foundation's humanitarian award.

But unlike his collaborator, Kushner had plenty to say about the forthcoming movie. The playwright said that the new adaptation will not be an exact retelling of Robert Wise's iconic 1961 film, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. Instead, Spielberg's version will turn back to the original 1957 Broadway musical written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

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