Entertainment

There’s A Casting Call For A ‘West Side Story’ Remake, And Producers Are Looking For Latino Actors To Star

Steven Spielberg is remaking “West Side Story” and people are flipping out!

It’s been reported that Spielberg is directing a remake of the 1961 musical classic “West Side Story.” Spielberg is apparently keeping very busy these days. The legendary director is also working on directing the fifth installment to the Indiana Jones franchise next year, which is set to be released in 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Aside from directing this new and exciting version of “West Side Story,” Spielberg is full immersed in the casting details for this project as well.

The main reason people are thrilled over this new version is because the main characters must be Spanish-speaking Latinos.

The casting notice clearly indicates that the lead actors must be able to sing and dance, as would be expected. However, the call also says actors must be Spanish-speaking Latinos, as the characters were intended to be.

If you don’t know the film or even the musical it’s based off of, it’s your basic Romeo and Juliet story but instead of Verona  in the 1300s, “West Side Story” is set in Manhattan in the 1950s. It has yet to be revealed if the remake will also take place in that era or in present day.

The main characters are Tony and Maria, a caucasian boy and Puerto Rican girl who fall for each other despite their love being forbidden. There’s also Bernardo, Maria’s big brother and a gang leader who had beautifully choreographed dance fights against the rival gang, the Jets. His girlfriend, Anita, was Maria’s best friend and confidant who could dance up a storm.

As you may recall in the original film, the lead actors were not Puerto Rican except for Rita Moreno, who played Anita.

The white actors who starred in the film wore brown makeup and affected thick, inauthentic accents. The lead role of Maria was played by Natalie Wood, who didn’t actually do any of her own singing for the film.

The casting notice is out and producers are looking for a Tony, Maria, Anita, and Bernardo.

It’s also being reported that the new version of “West Side Story” will include the very talented Lin-Manuel Miranda. In the 2009 Broadway production of “West Side Story,” the song “I Feel Pretty” was altered to be sung in Spanish, with new lyrics translated by Miranda.

It’s clear that studio heads are finally taking notice that people are tired of #OscarsSoWhite and hiring Latinos for major Hollywood roles.

Here’s how people are taking the news on social media.


READ: Latinos Recall The First Time They Felt Represented In Movies And TV

Are you excited about seeing the remake of “West Side Story”? Let us know by sharing this story and commenting below!

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Entertainment

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

Last week we talked about diversity, a word that reminds us that there is no “one way” to be Latinx. Also, that being diverse, or different, can be fun!

As we know, Latinos come in a variety of forms, from Black to white, tall to short. Some of us have Indigenous backgrounds or ones that come from Africa or Europe. We can also have different beliefs. Latinos practice a variety of religions, from Islam to Buddhism to Christianity.

This week on “Elena of Avalor” Elena learns that Latinos can also be Jewish.

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

During the episode “Festival of Lights” Elena comes to the rescue and saves the shipwrecked princess Rebecca, her brother Prince Ari, and their grandmother Bubbie. She also learns that her new friends are Jewish and from the Latino Jewish kingdom of Galonia and are on their way home to celebrate the holiday of Hanukkah.

After rescuing the royal family, Elena invites them back to her palace to celebrate Hanukkah.

There, she learns about their new traditions which include games, food, and prayers.

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

Through her new friends, Elena learns how to play the game of dreidel.

Elena of Avalor / Netflix

In this episode, Elenga gets to eat yummy chocolate coins called gelt and learns why Princess Ari’s family loves their lampstand, called a menorah, so much.

The best part of this episode is that Elena learns that Latinos can be different from eachother too and that’s a pretty beautiful thing.

SNL Did A Segment On How The Big Oscar Nominated Films Are About White Male Rage And It’s Surprisingly Spot On

Entertainment

SNL Did A Segment On How The Big Oscar Nominated Films Are About White Male Rage And It’s Surprisingly Spot On

Saturday Night Live / YouTube

Saturday Night Live’s Melissa Villaseñor enraged white males by singing a song about white male rage on the show. With the Oscars around the corner, SNL offered its own little analysis of the nominees during their ‘Weekend Update’ segment. In the skit Villaseñor discusses the biggest Oscar nominees and sings songs about how all the plots are based around, or sparked by (you guessed it) while male rage —and tbh, it’s kind of on point.

Villaseñor was brought on to discuss the big Oscar nominees and began by singing a song about Todd Phillips’ Joker.

In a visit to Colin Jost’s Weekend Update desk, cast member Melissa Villaseñor educated Jost on the Best Picture nominees, singing a silly and kind of accurate song about “Joker” and “The Irishman.” The song started off simply outlining the plot of the film until it took a turn; “But the thing that this movie is really about is white male rage, white male rage, white male rage.” The comedian then proceeded to sing a ditty about The Irishman and the tune ended with the observation that, in fact, the picture is also, actually all about white male rage.

Jost plays the straight man who disagrees.

Playing the straight man, Jost said of Villaseñor’s song: “It seemed like it was just a description of the movie, and then it took a weird turn into social commentary.” You can guess what happens when she moves onto Martin Scorsese’s Netflix masterpiece “The Irishman.”

When Jost asked how many more songs there were, Villaseñor said she had “a whole bunch”…

But said she would “combine them all,” rattling through nominated films that shared the narrative of “white male rage” such as “Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood,” “Jojo Rabbit” and “1917” — while adding that “Little Women” director Greta Gerwig, whose film was not about “white male rage,” was snubbed for a best director nomination.

#WhiteMaleRage became a trending topic on Twitter.

The words, which were written by Villaseñor and SNL writers Dan Bulla and Steven Castillostruck a chord on Twitter, where the #WhiteMaleRage hashtag began trending and had over 14,000 tweets by Sunday afternoon.

As you might have predicted, the white men of the internet reacted, well, angrily.

As they tend to do, white men were busy being upset about people pointing out the obvious. #WhiteMaleRage wasn’t a suggestion up for debate. It was merely a fact. Take a look at the Oscar noms for Best Picture this year and tell us Melissa is wrong?

The irony was clearly lost on these people.

But some just couldn’t let go…

Other Twitter users found the skit pretty funny, and even agreed with the message.

This isn’t the first skit or celebrity to talk about the issues the Oscars continue to face. Just two years ago #OscarsSoWhite was trending across social media and it seems like the Academy has totally forgotten that controversy this year.

This tweet perfectly summed up what many were thinking…

Airing on January 25, last week’s “Saturday Night Live” was the 11th episode of the NBC sketch show’s 45th season. Oscar nominee Adam Driver was the host with the musical performance by Halsey. (Driver is nominated for Best Actor for his turn as a father fighting for custody of his son during a contentious divorce in Noah Baumbach’s “Marriage Story.”)