The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical “West Side Story” was released during the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night.
While Spielberg has dabbled in a slew of genres from adventure to sci-fi, this will mark the filmmaker’s first time directing a musical. “Baby Driver” star Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, who is set to appear in the upcoming DC Comics sequel “Shazam: Fury of the Gods,” play teenagers Tony and Maria, who despite having affiliations with rival street gangs, the Jets and Sharks, end up falling in love. The film will also star Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll and Brian d’Arcy James.
The 1961 adaptation of “West Side Story” won a total of 10 Academy Awards including best picture, sitting only behind “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” “Titanic” and “Ben-Hur” with 11 wins apiece. The screenplay for Spielberg’s rendition of “West Side Story,” which was written by Tony Kushner (“Lincoln,” “Fences”), is said to stick closer to the original Broadway script than the 1961 film.
Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for playing Anita in the 1961 film, will appear in a supporting role. She will play a character named Valentina, who is said to be a reworking of the character Doc, Tony’s boss in the original stage and film versions. In a recent interview with Variety, Moreno assured fans that her role is “not a cameo — it’s a real part.” She is currently the only cast member from the 1961 film set to appear in Spielberg’s remake. Moreno, who recently released the documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” said she was thrilled to be working alongside Spielberg.
“To be there, when Steven is giving you directions, and Steven is jumping around like a child with his finder, saying, ‘Rita, look at this. What do you think of this shot?’” Moreno said. “He’s so enthused and happy — what a joy to work with this man. The sets will blow you away. You will really believe you’re in el barrio. It’s just astonishing.”
“West Side Story,” which was pushed back a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to debut in theaters on Dec. 10. Watch the trailer below:
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