Madison Vanderberg
October 01, 2018 5:05 pm
Jean Catuffe/GC Images

Ever since it was announced in January 2018 that Steven Spielberg would remake the legendary Broadway musical West Side Story, the internet has been curiously waiting to find out who would play the iconic Tony and Maria. After a public nationwide casting call, the acclaimed director and 20th Century Fox decided not to go with an unknown, as was previously presumed, but hired Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort to play Tony instead, according to The Wrap. And the internet has a lot of feelings about this casting decision.

West Side Story debuted in 1957 as a Broadway musical and has been revived numerous times since—including with a film adaptation in 1961. The musical is loosely inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and follows Tony and Maria as two star-crossed lovers from rival teenage street gangs in 1950s New York.

While the role of Tony has always been portrayed by Caucasian actors, the 1961 film adaptation white-washed nearly all of the parts meant for Puerto Rican actors. To make sure the cast accurately portrays the ethnicities of the characters this time around, the studio announced a nationwide casting call, specifically calling for the roles of Maria, Anita, and Bernardo to be played by Latinx actors.

So far, only Elgort’s part has been announced, and while we’re patiently waiting to see who will be cast as Maria, a lot of people are scratching their head over Elgort’s casting.

However, the Elgort stans are very much here for this, and to be fair, the boy can sing. Evidence A: Elgort singing Bob Dylan at some random party.

We remain optimistic about this surprisingly controversial casting choice.

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