×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Steven Spielberg’s Secret Table Read: What Could It Be and How Does it Affect ‘West Side Story’? (EXCLUSIVE)

Hollywood is abuzz about the super-secret table read Steven Spielberg held on Wednesday for an undisclosed project with some of the town’s top talent.

It is unknown who participated at this time, as everyone involved was required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. And they’re remaining mum lest they lose a chance to work with the legendary filmmaker. However, Variety has learned the project is an untitled biopic of conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Coincidentally, Bernstein wrote the music for “West Side Story,” which Spielberg is also considering taking on as a follow-up after “Indiana Jones 5.”

It is also unknown who wrote this specific Bernstein script, though sources say it is not the same one that Josh Singer (“Spotlight”) currently has set up at Paramount.

Insiders say that no matter how well the table read went, “Indiana Jones 5” will be Spielberg’s next film. His follow-up to the next Indy is still undecided. This table read was viewed as a third option, as the director is also weighing the “West Side Story” remake.

While Amblin had no comment, a source close to Spielberg said he frequently does read-throughs, and it doesn’t mean the director is committing to anything.

In recent weeks, it has been reported that with post-production on his upcoming film “Ready Player One” nearly finished, Spielberg would focus on not just one directing job, but his next two gigs for 2019. The plan was always to shoot the next installment in the “Indiana Jones” franchise at the beginning of 2019 with star Harrison Ford returning in the title role as the fedora-wearing archaeologist. He initially intended to follow that up with a remake of Bernstein’s classic “West Side Story.”

As previously reported, Spielberg had already hired a “West Side Story” casting director to search for actors of Puerto Rican descent. However, in recent weeks Spielberg began to move off the idea of committing to the “West Side Story” remake as being his next film after “Indiana Jones 5,” given this recent table read.

Sources say this new undisclosed project does not suggest Spielberg is abandoning “West Side Story,” and that the director has done this kind of shuffling several times before when deciding what film he’ll tackle next. At various points, Spielberg’s name has been linked to a remake of “Harvey” and a drama about the Chicago 7 trial, and “Lincoln” went through several incarnations before ultimately being made with Daniel Day-Lewis.

He took a similar route when choosing what to direct next after “Ready Player One,” having at first committed to helm “The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara” starring Mark Rylance and Oscar Isaac. When he was unable to find the young actor to play the title character, Spielberg decided to direct “The Post,” which ended up landing an Oscar nomination for best picture.

Whatever he decides to direct after “Indiana Jones 5,” it is very clear that Spielberg will not shoot another film until the beginning of 2019. He’ll take the rest of 2018 to prep both films.

“Ready Player One” is expected to premiere at this year’s SXSW festival.

More Film

  • Corey Stoll Brian dArcy James

    'West Side Story' Remake Adds Corey Stoll, Brian d'Arcy James as Cops

    Steven Spielberg has cast Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James as police officers in his movie adaptation of “West Side Story.” Stoll will take on the role of Lieutenant Schrank, the New York City detective charged with quelling civic unrest in his racially-torn precinct. James will play Sergeant Krupke, a veteran cop whose beat includes [...]

  • Alexander Dinelaris

    'Jekyll and Hyde' Movie in the Works Based on Broadway Musical

    The Broadway musical “Jekyll and Hyde” is getting the movie treatment from Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris. Dinelaris, who is writing and producing the adaptation, won an Oscar for the “Birdman” script and was a co-producer on “The Revenant.” He is producing “Jekyll and Hyde” as the first project under his New York-based development company, [...]

  • Will Smith Bright - Japan premiere

    Three Six Zero Acquires Will Smith and Miguel Melendez's Westbrook Entertainment

    International entertainment and music management company Three Six Zero has acquired Westbrook Entertainment, the talent management company which represents Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, Kenna and Crespo. “Bringing Miguel, his clients and his management team to Three Six Zero is an exciting next step on our journey to expand our entertainment [...]

  • Chris Cooper

    Chris Cooper Joins, Focus Features Boards Jon Stewart's Political Comedy 'Irresistible'

    Focus Features is partnering with Plan B Entertainment to produce and distribute Jon Stewart’s political comedy “Irresistible,” with Chris Cooper joining stars Steve Carell and Rose Byrne. Variety first reported in October that Stewart and Carell had boarded the project, with Stewart directing and producing with Plan B. Stewart has kept a low profile since [...]

  • Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the

    'Toy Story 4': Woody and Buzz Lightyear Hit the Road in New Trailer

    Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Bo Peep, and a strange new toy named Forky have returned in the new trailer for “Toy Story 4” that sends the gang out on the road. Disney unveiled the footage Tuesday with Woody telling the other toys that Forky — a craft-project-turned-toy — is the most important toy to Bonnie. He [...]

  • Warner Bros. HQ LA

    Warner Bros. CFO Kim Williams Tapped for Interim Leadership Team (EXCLUSIVE)

    Warner Bros. Entertainment is setting an interim leadership team to lead the Hollywood studio following the abrupt dismissal of CEO Kevin Tsujihara on Monday. As Variety first reported, the team will consist of Warner Bros. motion pictures group chairman Toby Emmerich and Warner Bros. television group president and CCO Peter Roth. It will also include [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content