Arts & Entertainment

Spielberg: West Side Story ‘needed to be corrected’

By Javier Romualdo

Los Angeles, US, Dec 7 (EFE).- Steven Spielberg’s cinema adaptation of the classic musical West Side Story looks to set the record straight with a cast that fully represents the Latin American community portrayed in the production, which previous versions have failed to do.

The original 1957 stage hit and subsequent 1961 film adaptation enthralled audiences with a tale of love and torn-allegiances amid conflict between two New York gangs, the Puerto Rican Sharks and the Jets, a white gang.

“This is the first production of West Side Story that has a completely Latin cast for the Sharks, the girls and the boys,” Spielberg said in an interview with Efe.

 “That was something that needed to be, that was the course that needed to be corrected,” he added.

The director was aware of the high expectations for his take on one of the great Broadway musicals since the project was first revealed in 2014.

“I never watched my own films. It’s weird, but I don’t. I make them and I move on to something else.

“But this time I stayed behind and this time I sat in my seat next to my wife and watched every second of West Side Story with that premiere audience in New York City.

“It just gave me such a great feeling that we, I guess got it right,” he said about the movie, which premiers in the US this weekend and has received critical acclaim.

Although the 1961 movie won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture, over time it has become one of the examples of Hollywood’s failures when it comes to representation.

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