The official trailer has arrived for West Side Story, the next feature from legendary director Steven Spielberg. Directed by Spielberg and written by Tony Kushner, the movie is based on the classic Broadway musical of the same name by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. The trailer made its debut at the Oscars and is now available to watch online, which you can do so below.
Featuring an ensemble cast, West Side Story stars Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alrvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, and Curtiss Cook. Rita Moreno, one of the stars of the original 1961 movie adaptation, will be appearing in a main role as well. Loosely inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the movie follows teenagers Tony (Elgort) and Maria (Zegler) who fall in love in 1950s New York City despite their affiliations with rival street gangs.
“They brought an authenticity,” Steven Spielberg said of the cast last year in an interview with Vanity Fair. “They brought themselves, and everything they believe and everything about them-they brought that to the work. And there was so much interaction between the cast wanting to be able to commit to the Puerto Rican experience. They all represent, I think, a diversity, both within the Puerto Rican, Nuyorican community as well as the broader Latinx community. And they took that seriously.”
Rita Moreno, who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Anita in the original movie adaptation, also spoke with the outlet about revisiting West Side Story in a new role. In the new movie, she’ll be playing Valentina, Doc’s widow. From her view, Moreno says the filmmakers wanted to make a more faithful adaptation to the original Broadway version compared to the 1961 movie.
“[Spielberg and Kushner] really wanted to right some…should I say wrongs? I don’t know if that’s…yes, that’s fair, because the  film had a lot of things that were wrong with it, aside from the fact that it had a lot of things that were very right,” Moreno explained, adding that she was one of the few Puerto Ricans in the cast. “That’s what they were trying to fix and ameliorate, and I think they have done an incredible job.”
Spielberg’s involvement with this movie pushed back the release of Indiana Jones 5. Though Spielberg has since handed over directing duties on that anticipated sequel to James Mangold, he is still attached to serve as a producer and will be heavily involved in the production. With pre-production moving full steam ahead on Indiana Jones 5, a slew of casting announcements have recently been made, with returning star Harrison Ford joined by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, and Thomas Kretschmann.
Steven Spielberg, Kristie Macosko Krieger, and Kevin MCollum produced West Side Story. Initially, the movie was set to be released in December by 20th Century Studios before it was delayed due to the pandemic of 2020. It has since been moved to this holiday season with the movie now scheduled to be released in theaters on Dec. 10, 2021.
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