Steven Spielberg Explains Why He Had To Make West Side Story

“West Side Story” tells the story of two young people from different groups who fall in love, but are separated by the division between their cultures and circumstances. The book it was based on was inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” if that helps you get a mental picture.

Spielberg explains in the video above how this musical spoke to him as a child. The script was influenced by how things have changed and haven’t changed since the time the musical was made. He said:

“So, he challenged me what would be the right musical to perform. And I could never forget my childhood. I was 10 years old when I first heard the album ‘West Side Story’. And it never came I have been able to fulfill that dream and keep that promise to me. I made myself, you must do ‘West Side Story’.

“The divisions between people with different ideas are as old as time itself. And the divisions between the Sharks and the Jets in 1957, which inspired the musical, were deep. But not as divided as we find ourselves today.

“It turned out that in the middle of script development, which took five years, things got broader. Which, I think in a sense, sadly, made the story of those racial divisions, not just territorial divisions, more relevant to today’s hearing that maybe even was in 1957. “

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