Is Steven Spielberg really going to remake West Side Story? Who knows, but according to Deadline he’s interested in doing something with the 1961 classic, itself an adaptation of a stage production that retooled Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (itself a remake of Ovid’s Pyramus and Thisbe). Maybe he just wants to give the familiar story yet another update of some kind. Probably nothing will ever come of this story.
But the idea of a major moviemaker like Spielberg taking on a beloved musical has us wondering about other possible pairings. Typically we see Broadway taking on old movies and turning them into musicals, and sometimes those are brought back to the screen by way of lesser directors. It’s interesting to think of a reverse scheme. If NBC can do a terrible new live version of The Sound of Music, would it be too bad to see someone great like Martin Scorsese remake it (he should give musicals another shot, shouldn’t he?). Or more appropriately, perhaps a great Austrian filmmaker, namely Michael Haneke?
We don’t want to get too far into the ludicrous, but we genuinely would love to see Lars von Trier do another musical, and wouldn’t his take on My Fair Lady be lovely? Modern-movie-musical helmer Rob Marshall should have given us a new version of The Pirates of Penzance instead of bothering with a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, or maybe combined the two. And maybe Paul Thomas Anderson can really remake his idol Robert Altman’s Popeye, even though he was inspired enough by it with Punch-Drunk Love. Michael Bay wasn’t lauded for his Pearl Harbor, but what about his explosive redo of South Pacific?
One filmmaker we’d love to see make a full musical is Terry Gilliam, but what would be best? Maybe The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T or, to redo himself, Spamalot! There’s also Man of La Mancha, which maybe would be easier than reattempting The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
What director and classic musical do you want paired up for a new version?
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