It’s Official: Steven Spielberg is Remaking ’West Side Story’

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Spielberg - Zappa biopic?
    That would be interesting.
    Wowie zowie!!!!
     
  2. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    I’m sure John Huston felt the same way.
     
  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Being a talented director in every other area doesn't necessarily carry over into musicals though.

    See Finnegan's Rainbow by a very young Francis Ford Coppola.
     
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  4. the pope ondine

    the pope ondine Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia

    didnt sidney lumet do the Wiz? that flopped too
     
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  5. CraigBic

    CraigBic Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    I think Speilberg's style will translate well to the musical, he did well with the opening of Temple of Doom I thought.
     
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  6. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Flaneur

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    The original movie (which I saw in the late 1970s, long after it was released) kind of requires the viewer to suspend disbelief - a trait it shares in common with nearly all musicals. The music, which is magnificent, is better than the plot, but the songs require the plot to tie them all together.

    My attitude to remaking musicals is a bit different to how I feel about remaking classic movies like Hitchcock thrillers or romantic dramas. The music is basically about musical entertainment, and the plot is just an excuse. Occasional new theatrical productions of West Side Story, The Sound of Music, South Pacific and others still happen, and so they should. I'm not quite sure what purpose a movie remake would serve (apart from the obvious $$$) but I suppose it does no harm, as long as it's respectful to the original - by which I mean no tinkering around and changing names, ethnicities or accents just for fear of offending somebody. The story is old enough now to be considered a period piece, and it should be seen as such and kept as such. If he tries to make it look as if it's taking place in the early 21st century, I foresee all kinds of issues.
     
  7. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    This did not occur to me at first - perhaps I subconsciously thought Spielberg was above certain political and social forces that seem to tug at the trousers of most Hollywood types - but then it did. There certainly are certain social and political elements in West Side Story, as there are with Romeo and Juliet, but both ultimately remain a tragic love story. I don’t see how they (including Spielberg) can avoid the tail wagging the dog with this one. For example, if you change Officer Krupke too much, the Jets’ ensemble song loses its entertainment value IMO. The remake could become dark and mean-spirited very quickly. And what about the elegant, but now somewhat dated, Jerome Robins choreography? I shudder to think how many ways that could be severely mangled.
     
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  8. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    The production photos look okay, two male leads I’m not sure.
     
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  9. Fastnbulbous

    Fastnbulbous Doubleplus Ungood

    Location:
    Washington DC USA
    Same. It's one thing to shoot soldiers landing on a beach in a hail of gunfire, but this is a little bit different.
     
  10. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    I can see the reviews :
    Glee comes to the big screen “ :)
     
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  11. BILLONEEG

    BILLONEEG Senior Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    Steven Spielberg has given us mini great films and because of that I will look forward to “West Side Story.
     
  12. misterjones

    misterjones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Andover, MA
    That was my initial reaction, and I hope your optimism is well-founded. I saw Jaws several weeks ago at a drive-in. What a great film. The shark was secondary. The character study was the main focus. Same for Saving Private Ryan.
     
  13. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Flaneur

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    The most 21st century modification he could do to the movie would be to change the word "bugging" in The Jet Song, which appears in lyrics sheets and is supposedly what's being sung, to the word I actually suspect they are singing, or at least some of them are singing. Was the word "bugging" ever actually used in real life, in that way? And on the same note, in the very last line of "Gee Officer Krupke" they sing "Krup you". How do you Krup somebody?
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  14. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    You don't even want to know.
     
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  15. BILLONEEG

    BILLONEEG Senior Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I always took it to mean officer Krupke was annoying and bothersome so when they said “Krup you”, they were just wishing annoyance and bother back on Officer Krupke.
     
  16. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Location:
    USA
    I’m looking forward to it. I love the music and story. I listen to the soundtrack for the original musical often. (I’m playing it now.)

    I feel Spielberg is being gutsy to tackle this. He’ll get slammed if he updates it. He’ll also get slammed if he doesn’t.

    I can’t wait to see what he does.
     
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  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    What would you expect? Jaws is a fish.
     
  18. clayton

    clayton Senior Member

    Location:
    minneapolis mn
    I'll pass, my 1st wife and I were having a discussion about musicals, I told her my idea of a musical was - The Who - The Kids Are Alright, she wasn't impressed:winkgrin:....sat through My Fair Lady and The Sound Of Music a couple of times.
     
  19. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Flaneur

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    I initially said I was neutral abo9ut this WSS remake, but after some of the comments here and thinking about it a bit more I am becoming more and more unenthusiastic about the thing. It seems to be a vanity project. He wants to do a musical - fine, but how about something new, then, instead of a remake? A story set in the 21st century, with words and music by contemporary writers? I'm getting tired of the endless stream of remakes and reboots of successful films that we have seen over the last few years.
     
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  20. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    My Fair Lady is one of those painfully slow, painfully long British productions with Hepburn being the only shining star.

    I saw the stage play with Rex Harrison and while he made a classic performance, the play was still boaring so we left.

    At least the Sound of Music has endearing children that sing.
     
  21. altaeria

    altaeria Forum Resident

    Steven Spielberg Presents
    Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist: The Musical
     
  22. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    He also is supposedly directing a U.S> Grant biopic with DeCaprio possibly in the lead
     
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  23. Playloud

    Playloud Sentimental

    Location:
    Oregon
    I can’t think of a single artistic reason to mess with the original West Side Story. Everyone who worked on the original were at the top of their game and it shows. It’s a relevant story today without changing a thing.

    I’m also reminded of the remake of The Music Man with Matthew Broderick. The Music Man without Robert Preston? Hard no.
     
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  24. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    The revival of the play tried to bring it up to current times and failed miserably. The Jets and Sharks were so multi-cultural (they even had a gay couple) you couldn't understand why they hated each other, and "Gee Officer Krupke" was turned into a treatise on police violence. The whole thing was dreadful.
    I don't hold out any great hopes for the movie, although the involvement of Tony Kushner definitely piques my interest.
     
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  25. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    Location:
    USA
    I’d see it.
     
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