Ansel Elgort to lead Steven Spielberg's West Side Story cast

Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort will take on the part originally played by Richard Beymer in the 1961 film.

Ansel Elgort has landed the role of Tony in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake.

The Baby Driver actor will take on the part played by Richard Beymer in the Oscar-winning 1961 film, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, which was an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show.

Inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story explores forbidden love, and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different backgrounds.

In the original production, the character of Tony falls for Maria, the younger sister of a gang leader.

According to Twentieth Century Fox Film executives, Elgort was selected for the part after a huge talent scout, with producers auditioning actors and dancers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Puerto Rico over the last few months.

No other casting details have yet been announced. However, filming is set to begin in the summer of 2019.

Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner has written the script for the new adaption, taking inspiration from the original story penned by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein, and concept, direction, and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the musical.

Elgort, 24, had his Hollywood breakthrough with 2014 romantic drama The Fault in Our Stars and will next be seen as the lead in the upcoming film adaptation of The Goldfinch, which is due to hit cinemas in late 2019.

Meanwhile, Spielberg's most recent projects include The Post, a political drama inspired by the Washington Post's first female publisher, and Ready Player One, which was based on the popular science-fiction novel by Ernest Cline.

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