The official trailer for West Side Story has been released. Directed by iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, the movie reimagines the beloved musical that tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This new adaptation is set to be released in theaters in December, and you can check out the official trailer below.
This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Moreno – one of only three artists to be honored with Academy, Emmy, GRAMMY, Tony, and Peabody Awards – will also be executive producing.
“This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it’s returned with a kind of social fury,” Spielberg previously told Vanity Fair. “I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”
He added: “[The cast] brought an authenticity. 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.”
“Every Juliet-based character is pure and innocent. She’s the Virgin Mary, and she can do no wrong. But in reality she’s 18. She’s discovering so much about herself and the way she thinks about the world,” Zegler said of her character, via Town & Country. “What does it mean to be an 18-year-old discovering all of these things about herself in 2019 – or in 1957, which is when West Side Story takes place? There are layers of being an immigrant: How long has she been here? How long does she plan to stay? She plans to stay forever. Does Bernardo want her here?”
Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film’s creative team includes Kushner, who also serves as an executive producer; Tony Award winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia), who arranged the score; Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Thoroughly Modern Millie), who supervised the cast on vocals; and Grammy-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), who served as executive music producer for the film.
West Side Story is produced by Steven Spielberg, Academy Award-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum. West Side Story has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway show, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins.
West Side Story is scheduled to be released in U.S. theaters on Dec. 10, 2021. While we have seen a lot of great work from director Steven Spielberg over the years, this will mark his musical debut. The official trailer comes to us from 20th Century Studios.