Ansel Elgort Nabs Lead Role in Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story'
WENN/Adriana M. Barraza

The 'Divergent' movie series star is cast as the male lead in the remake of the 1961 musical film.

AceShowbiz - Ansel Elgort is set to star in "West Side Story" remake. The 24-year-old actor landed the male lead role in Steven Spielberg's upcoming take on the 1957 Broadway musical, which was inspired by William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet".

Elgort will portray Tony, which was first portrayed by Larry Kert in the original Broadway play. The story revolves around the rivalry between two warring street gangs, the white Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. The tensions get higher as Tony falls for Maria, the younger sister of the leader of the Sharks, and the two forge a forbidden bond.

The play was adapted into a 1961 musical film by directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, with Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer starring as the star-crossed lovers. However, no actress has been announced yet to star opposite Elgort in the upcoming remake.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner has written the script for the new take on "West Side Story". Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger are set to produce the film. Filming is slated to begin after Spielberg completes the production of "Indiana Jones V".

Spielberg has been eying to make the remake since 2014. In early this year, it was reported that he spent a long time looking for actors who can sing, dance and act their hearts out for the movie. The production went to New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico for the search and it was assumed that Spielberg would choose an unknown actor for the lead role.

Elgort started to gain recognition after starring in romantic teen drama "The Fault in Our Stars" (2014), an adaptation of John Green's novel of the same title. He also starred as Caleb Prior in the "Divergent" movie series, which reunited him with his "The Fault in Our Stars" co-star Shailene Woodley. He received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy for his role in Edgar Wright's 2017 action thriller "Baby Driver". As a singer, he works under the name Ansolo.

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