Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story became one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2020 as soon as it was announced. And now, we’re getting a closer look at film ahead of its December 18th release. On March 16th, Vanity Fair published photos from the West Side Story remake that give us a look at Maria (Rachel Zegler), Anita (Ariana DeBose), Tony (Ansel Elgort), and a brand new character played by one of the stars of the 1961 film, Rita Moreno.
There are six new photos in total that show us the “Dance at the Gym” scene, Anita during her “America” number, and Moreno as Valentina, a new character who replaces Doc, the pharmacy owner, from the original. In the new movie, Valentina is Doc’s widow. A few photos from the set were also released last year. In June 2019, a cast photo was released, and in October, Spielberg shared some behind-the-scenes pictures.
West Side Story fans who are looking forward to the new movie were, of course, excited about the new photos. How could they not be? They’re gorgeous.
“FIRST STILLS FROM WEST SIDE STORY NOBODY MOVE EVERYBODY SHUT UP IM LIVING,” one Twitter user wrote. There was a classic “good morning to the cast of west side story only.” Another Twitter user added, “can we just take a moment to appreciate how STUNNING west side story looks?????”
FIRST STILLS FROM WEST SIDE STORY NOBODY MOVE EVERYBODY SHUT UP IM LIVING pic.twitter.com/xswEwYHnz0— mich (@bigIttIeIies) March 16, 2020
good morning to the cast of west side story only pic.twitter.com/svMryAmw9Q— nile (@storyteIIers) March 16, 2020
And then there was this prediction: “WEST SIDE STORY is probably going to sweep the Oscars for a second time and I’m entirely fine with that.”
Rita Moreno is the only latina to win an Oscar (for West Side Story). She's coming for a second nomination for a remake of the film that gave her the award (an irresistible narrative). pic.twitter.com/V59asHarBQ— Ronaldo Trancoso Jr (@ronaldotrancoso) March 16, 2020
If you didn’t know, the 1961 movie won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, Best Supporting Actress for Moreno, and Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris, who played Bernardo. In the new film, that role is played by David Alvarez.
In addition to the photos, the Vanity Fair article features commentary from Spielberg, DeBose, and star and executive producer Moreno.
Moreno was one of the few actors who actually was Puerto Rican, like her character, in the original. And she’s happy about the new movie’s updates.
“[T]he  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 told the publication. “That’s what they were trying to fix and ameliorate, and I think they have done an incredible job.”
Now, we just have to wait nine more months to see everything in action.