First Look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story

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Director Steven Spielberg gave a glimpse of what his Tony, Maria, Sharks and Jets will look like in the forthcoming West Side Story movie, slated to release December 18, 2020. Stills from the film unveiled today show the cast in action, with Ansel Algort and newcomer Rachel Zegler taking on the roles of the star-crossed lovers caught in the Shakespeare-inspired story of prejudice and romance.

The original musical–which debuted on Broadway in 1957 with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim–adapted Romeo and Juliet for a modern audience, setting the timeless tale in contemporary New York City with rival gangs, racial tensions, and two teens who fall in love. When it was made into a film in 1961, the movie was a box office hit and won 10 Oscars, including best picture.

Bringing back a familiar face, Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 film, will appear in Spielberg’s remake as a new character named Valentina, the owner of the corner store. Other updates include a diverse cast (the original film included many white actors in brown makeup portraying the Puerto Rican Sharks), with Spielberg specifying that only Latinx actors were cast in Hispanic roles, most of which were specifically Puerto Rican.

While a trailer has yet to be released, the new images display a vivid picture of the 1950s period costumes and theatrical spirit of the film.

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