It was announced today that actor, Ansel Elgort's, next role will take him out of the driver's seat and into the the dancing streets. Yes, the Baby Driver lead will play Tony in the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed version of West Side Story.
After a lengthy casting search and concerns that the production might get shelved, Spielberg finally settled on Elgort as the new adaptation's male lead. Pultizer Prize-winning writer and Oscar nominee, Tony Kushner of Angels in America-fame, has signed on to the team in addition to the Tony-winning choreographer of the recent Broadway revival of Carousel, Justin Peck.
Elgort will have big shoes to fill as the original film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical garnered 11 Oscar nominations and won 10 after it premiered in 1961, making it the musical with the most wins to this day. The role of Tony also was highly sought-after the first time around, before settling on Richard Beymar, director Robert Wise reportedly considered Warren Beatty, Bobby Darin, Burt Reynolds, Tab Hunter, and Elvis Presley for the role.
Filming for Spielberg's adaptation of West Side Story is set to start filming summer of next year and scheduled to be released in 2020. A little way off in the future, but that gives Elgort plenty of time to prove that he has what it takes to be a Jet.