Steven Spielberg has cast Ansel freaking Elgort as Tony, the lead in his musical film adaptation of West Side Story. Maybe they just really, really wanted to replace that number where Tony is hauling bottles of soda with shirtless DJ Ansolo handing out matcha energy drinks. Something’s coming, indeed!
This alarming news comes via The Hollywood Reporter:
Spielberg has spent the better part of the year looking for stars for his movie, with actors needing to be able to sing, dance, and, of course, act their hearts out for the story that transposes Romeo and Juliet into a 1950s New York setting featuring white and Puerto Rican gangs.
The search was taking so long that Hollywood observers worried the project would be shelved, just as casting challenges caused Spielberg to shelve The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara. The production looked at thousands of actors and dancers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico, with many thinking Spielberg would cast an unknown in the lead.
Now that they’ve got their Tony, they should be able to start production in summer 2019. Tony Kushner wrote the adaptation! This will absolutely dominate the Oscars and you’ll be utterly unable to escape it. But the joke’s on Ansel, because Tony is only the third-best male role in West Side Story, the first two being Bernardo and Riff.