Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
© Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Steven Spielberg will direct a new version of West Side Story, adapted by Tony Kushner (Angels in America), featuring the show's original music.

The news was announced as Spielberg put a casting call out for the film, explicitly asking for performers between the ages of 15 and 25 to fill the main roles of Tony, Maria, Anita and Bernando.

Set in 1950s New York, the classic musical tells of the gang rivalry between the New York Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. It is loosely based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and features classic numbers including "I Feel Pretty", "Something's Coming", "America", "Cool" and "Tonight". It has music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and conception and choreography by Jerome Robbins.

The original film came out in 1961 and starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno and George Chakiris. It went on to win ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Spielberg hasn't yet directed a musical in his lengthy career, though did have an on-screen role in the film adaptation of The Blues Brothers. His current film, The Post, is in cinemas and stars Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.

A release date for the film is yet to be confirmed, but anyone keen to audition should email [email protected]