Greenlit: ‘West Side Story’ Finds its Maria, ‘Sopranos’ Prequel Adds Actors + More Major Casting News

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Greenlit means a project is officially a go, so all you have to do is follow these leads to stay up to date. You never know where you’ll find an opportunity to land an audition!

“West Side Story”
The worldwide hunt is over, and suddenly we’ve found Maria! Rachel Zegler will make her film debut opposite Angel Elgort in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming “West Side Story” remake. Additionally, Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez will play Anita and Bernardo, respectively, and stage actor Josh Andrés Rivera will play Chino. Rita Moreno, who played Anita (and won an Oscar) in the 1961 adaptation, will also play the role of Valentina, a re-conceived and expanded version of the character of Doc. Meanwhile, if you’re in Los Angeles, the upcoming Broadway revival is holding an open dance call on Jan. 22. The film’s casting director is Cindy Tolan—expect to see more opportunities in the coming months, especially as filming commences in New York City.

“The Many Saints of Newark”
Newark has named its saints as casting continues for the forthcoming “Sopranos” prequel film, “The Many Saints of Newark.” Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, Corey Stoll, and Billy Magnussen will join the film, which will be set during the during the Newark riots in the 1960s. Series creator David Chase co-wrote the script with producer Lawrence Konner, and Alan Taylor will helm the flick. The four new cast members will join the already-announced Alessandro Nivola, as well as some expected big names from the original HBO series. Douglas Aibel is the casting director for the film.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
The bells of Notre Dame are singing again! Announced last week, there will be a Disney live-action remake of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Tony-winning “M. Butterfly” playwright David Henry Hwang will write the adaptation with Alan Menkin and Stephen Schwartz writing the music. Bill Condon has long been attached as a director on the project, with Josh Gad producing. Gad is also rumored at the moment to be getting the lead role, but no casting has been announced or nailed down quite yet, including a casting director, so Telsey + Company is a possibility for now coming off “Mary Poppins Returns,” but not confirmed. The new adaptation is expected to pull from both the original animated film and the recent stage musical, so there will be elements for all kinds of actors.

“Space Force”
Two of television’s most successful collaborators are launching back into action. Steve Carell and “The Office” creator Greg Daniels will team up for a new Netflix series inspired by Donald Trump’s idea for a space force as the sixth branch of the military. Carell will also star in the comedy, which has been given a straight-to-series order by Netflix. The workplace comedy will center around the people tasked with creating this new military branch. According to a teaser released by Netflix last week, “the goal of the new branch is to ‘defend satellites from attack’ and ‘perform other space-related tasks’…or something” and will tell the story of “the men and women who have to figure it out.” No casting director has been assigned publicly yet, but if Carell and Daniels want to defer to more “The Office” collaborators, Allison Jones could get the job.

“The Witches”
Anne Hathaway has found her next big role. The actor has just closed a deal to star in Robert Zemeckis’ adaptation of “The Witches” and will play the role of the Grand High Witch held by Anjelica Huston in the 1991 film. The story, based on the Roald Dahl novel, follows a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with real-life witches. Zemeckis will also pen the script and produce with partner Jack Rapke, along with Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro. Hathaway is so far the only person cast. Zemeckis regular casting directors are Burrows/Boland, so keep an eye on their door for future opportunities.

Looking to get cast? Apply to casting calls on Backstage.

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