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It's here—it's finally here.
The new, full-length trailer for Steven Spielberg's reimagining of West Side Story, the groundbreaking film and Broadway musical, has arrived. The film, which was originally set to release in theaters in 2020 but was pushed back to the end of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is the rare film reboot we can actually justify. While the beloved musical is considered an old Hollywood classic, Spielberg's reimagining centers actual Latino actors in the leading roles—something the original film, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, did not care to prioritize at the time.
With a script by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner and choreography by the Tony-winning Justin Peck, the remake is stacked with talent, and the two-and-a-half-minute clip does not disappoint. It features the film's star, newcomer Rachel Zegler, effortlessly belting the movie's signature ballad, "Tonight"; vibrant dance scenes with dazzling choreography; and intense chemistry between our new Maria (Zegler) and Tony (portrayed by Ansel Elgort). Fans of the original film are also blessed with the onscreen presence of Rita Moreno, who returns to the story that made her one of the first major Latina movie stars and an Oscar winner as well.
Below is everything we know about the upcoming adaption.
West Side Story will hit theaters December 10.
The original release date was pushed back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic; now Spielberg's adaption of the classic musical will hit theaters just ahead of the holidays. The release delay makes sense once you see the official trailer for the film—this is a cinema experience that deserves to be seen on a big screen.
The modernized adaptation will have Latinx actors front and center.
Hollywood racism meant that the original film didn't prioritize Latino actors, but Spielberg ensured fans that Latinos would be front and center for the 2021 version. The leading cast is as follows:
Rachel Zegler as Maria
Ansel Elgort as Tony
Maddie Ziegler as Velma
Rita Moreno as Valentina
Ariana DeBose as Anita
Mike Faist as Riff
David Alvarez as Bernardo
Myles Erlick as Snowboy
Annelise Cepero as Provi
Ana Isabelle as Rosalia
Rita Moreno makes a special cameo.
Moreno rose to fame following her riveting performance as Anita in the original West Side Story, and Spielberg fought to cast the iconic actress in a new role for the remake. Moreno is set to portray Valentina, the widow of Doc (a local neighborhood shop owner in the original film) who took over her late husband's business. Moreno recently spoke about how Spielberg had to convince her to appear in the film.
"I almost wet my knickers. I couldn't believe this was Steven Spielberg on the phone, whom I so admired," Moreno told USA Today in an interview. "But then I had the courage to say, 'I don't think I could do a cameo. I think it would be a severe disservice to this movie—it'd be a distraction.' And he said, 'No, no, no. This is a real part. Tony Kushner wrote this part for you.'"
Watch this space for updates.
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