David Newman (Ice Age, AnastasiaGirls Trip, War of the Roses) has signed on to conduct, arrange and compose the underscore for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming new film adaptation of West Side Story. The composer will adapt Leonard Bernstein’s music from the Academy Award-winning 1961 movie and the 50s Broadway musical for the remake, which will star Ansel Elgort, Ariana DeBose, Rachel Zegler, David Alvarez, Rita Moreno and Josh Andrés River. Spielberg is also producing the project with Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger (Bridge of Spies, Ready Player One). Newman has previously scored an episode of the Spielberg-produced TV series Amazing Stories and also composed the music the Amblin’s The Flintstones produced by Spielberg. He has also been conducting the music of Spielberg’s regular composer John Williams at numerous concerts over the last couple of years and has previously conducted Bernstein’s West Side Story score in concert with the LA Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and other orchestras. West Side Story is set to shoot this summer and will be released in 2020 by 20th Century Fox.

Newman also has the Netflix original series Green Eggs and Ham coming up.

  1. Bernd-Helmut Heine says:

    Good news for David Newman (who really deserves more high-profile projects like this), but what about John Williams? Did he officially retire from scoring? Hopefully not…

    • Jeff T. says:

      Probably more a matter of not being that interested in adapting someone else’s music at this stage of his career, doubt he ever will really retire from scoring and should be back for Indy 5.

      • Justin says:

        The word is Williams is retiring in 2019, which would make him unavailable for this film.

        Discussion and source: jwfan.com/forums/index.php?/topic/29130-rumor-john-williams-plans-to-retire-in-2019/

    • Jason says:

      Could just be a conflict? Depends on how Spielberg is doing things…

      If he’s is going to try and knock out a WSS release by the end of the year (like he did on ‘The Post’) then it’s probably just a conflict with John’s Star Wars schedule.

      Or if Steven shoots WSS and Indy 5 back-to-back and does post simultaneously (like he’s done quite a few times in the past) it could be that John would be busy on the latter.

  2. mplo says:

    I attended last summer’s Boston Symphony Orchestra/West Side Story (1961 film version) concert at Tanglewood (which is the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and is located out in Lenox, MA, in the Berkshires), which was really fabulous. Not only did they present a Hi-Def, remastered, reprinted and cleaned up restoration of the 1961 film version of West Side Story, but the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the conducting of David Newman, played a fantastic live rendition of the movie’s musical score.

    Not surprisingly, the Boston Symphony Orchestra/West Side Story (1961 film) concert sold out, despite the addition of several extra lawn benches (I was in a wonderful seat in the shed!). The drive out there from where I live took three hours, and a pretty drive out there and back, plus a fantastic concert made it all worthwhile.

    I’ll also add this, however: Despite David Newman’s conducting the musical score to Steven Spielberg’s upcoming re-boot of the 1961 film version of “West Side Story”, I do not plan on going to see the WSS re-boot when it hits the movie theatres next year.