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 the territories of two warring street gangs, the Sharks and the Jets.
The song “Gee Officer Krupke” was performed by the Jets in the original Broadway musical and the 1961 movie. It concludes with the memorable line “Gee, Officer Krupke – Krup you!”
Spielberg has already cast 17-year-old high schooler Rachel Zegler as Maria opposite Ansel Elgort as Tony, along with Rita Moreno as Valentina — a reconceived version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store where Tony works. Moreno won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 film version of “West Side Story.” She’s also an executive producer on the remake.
The pic will be adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was the basis for the 1961 film. The play, inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” was set in a New York neighborhood and focused on the rivalry between two gangs. “West Side Story” won 10 Oscars, including best picture. Natalie Wood played the role of Maria in the movie, while George Chakiris portrayed Bernardo. He won an Oscar for supporting actor.
Spielberg, Kevin McCollum, and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the remake, which will be released by Fox. Filming for “West Side Story” is set to begin this summer.
Stoll was recently seen as Buzz Aldrin in “First Man.” James’ credits include King George in the original run of “Hamilton” and in the best picture winner “Spotlight.”