It takes some set of stones to remake one of the best and most popular musicals ever made, especially one that ended up winning eleven of the twelve Academy Awards that it was nominated for, but it definitely helps that West Side Story boasts one of the all-time greats behind the camera.
Steven Spielberg, no stranger to awards season glory with three Oscars of his own from a grand total of 17 nods, is certainly a safe pair of hands. It also helps that he also happens to be the single most commercially successful director in the history of cinema, and the only one to have seen his combined filmography exceed $10 billion at the box office.
The latest version of the 1957 Broadway smash hit that spawned the 1961 movie was originally scheduled for release in December of last year, but it’s now coming to theaters next month. West Side Story lands on December 10, where it gets the luxury of a 45-day exclusive theatrical run, and the marketing campaign is beginning to heat up.
Strangely, for the first new Spielberg in almost four years, there’s not a great deal of buzz heading into this one with less than five weeks to go until release, but if anybody can turn the tide of ambivalence greeting West Side Story so far, it’s the bearded legend.