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Ansel Elgort to star in 'West Side Story' remake

Ansel Elgort will play Tony in Steven Spielberg's

Ansel Elgort will play Tony in Steven Spielberg's remake of the 1961 Oscar winner "West Side Story." Credit: Getty Images/Ethan Miller

Steven Spielberg has found his Tony — and he's quite used to playing the doomed boyfriend. Ansel Elgort, known for roles in weepies like "The Fault in Our Stars," will sing, dance and die (unless screenplay writer Tony Kushner has a shocker in store) in the director's remake of "West Side Story," scheduled to start filming next summer. 

Elgort, who showed off some of his dancing skills in last year's "Baby Driver," will play the one-time member of a white street gang who tragically falls in love with Maria, the sister of the leader of a rival Puerto Rican gang. Inspired by Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," the 1957 Broadway musical, written by Arthur Laurents, with music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, was made into a movie in 1961 starring Richard Beymer as Tony, along with Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno. It won 10 Oscars, including best picture.

So now that Spielberg has this bit of casting out of the way, questions turn to who will get the coveted role of Maria. The director has been conducting a national talent search and Twitter has plenty of arguments going on the subject, so expectations are that he may tap a relatively unknown actress to "feel pretty."

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