Steven Spielberg’s WEST SIDE STORY Casts Ansel Elgort As “Tony” October 2, 2018 Ansel Elgort has scored the lead role in the new film version of the Broadway musical, ‘West Side Story,’ to be directed by filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Elgort will be taking on the role of “Tony,” which was first played by Larry Kert in the original 1957 Broadway musical. Inspired by William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ the musical explores forbidden love, and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds. Screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner has written the adaptation of the 1957 musical originally written by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim with music by Leonard Bernstein, and concept, direction, and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Filming is set to begin in the summer of 2019, with Spielberg, Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger producing.