In 2017, “Baby Driver” established Ansel Elgort as more than a one-hit wonder. While Elgort broke out in “The Fault in Our Stars,” there are dozens of young actors who cannot get past their first big role. Elgort shows some promise as a movie star and grabbed a Golden Globe nomination for his “Baby Driver” role. With Elgort quickly becoming one of Hollywood’s future, the choice of Steven Spielberg to cast him as Tony in the upcoming adaptation of “West Side Story” feels almost inevitable.
The role of Tony in “West Side Story” should be a big break for Elgort. The role is the male lead in the film, giving the young actor big shoes to fill. A member of the Jets, Tony falls in love with Maria, leading to the events of the film. This could also potentially be a tough role for Elgort to please everyone. The retelling of Romeo and Juliet continues to be an iconic film and musical over 50 years after its film release. This means that nearly every theater kid and musical fan has some relationship to the story, quickly making this a high-pressure project.
Elgort certainly looks the part of Tony. Spielberg likely saw “Baby Driver” and realized immediately that he would be a strong fit. Considering the actor can play a fairly mopey character and downtrodden character, but keep you on his side, this should be good casting. Spielberg’s choice to push ahead with the “West Side Story” remake continues to raise eyebrows but feels like it is more of a certainty now. The casting of the Jets will not be a problem. However, it will be very interesting to see the reactions to the Sharks as those castings are announced. Maybe we’ll even get Rita Moreno back in the action.