20th Century Fox has unveiled the first look at Steven Spielberg’s long-awaited musical ‘West Side Story’ on Monday. The movie is an adaptation of the classic 1957 Broadway musical of the same name by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, which was inspired by William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The Spielberg’s version stars Ansel Elgort and debutante Rachel Zegler as the legendary young lovers Tony and Maria.
Set in the backdrop of New York City of the turbulent ‘50s, the plot follows rival street gangs Sharks and Jets. Shark, which is the Puerto Rican gang, is led by Bernardo. He is in a relationship with Anita Palacio. Maria is Bernardo’s younger sister who falls for the co-founder of Jets, Tony. Together, they go through the different facets of love, loss, rivalry, and jealousy against a violent cityscape.
The 1961 movie of the same name was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. Rita Moreno won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of the character Anita in the film. According to reports, the veteran actress is set to return to play the character of Valentina in the upcoming movie. Valentina is a revised version of the character Doc, who was the drug store owner and Tony’s boss in the 1961 predecessor.
Apart from directing the musical, Spielberg produces the project along with Kevin McCollum and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Academy Award-nominee and Pulitzer winner Tony Kushner wrote the script for the movie. Tony Award winner Justin Peck is the choreographer and Gustavo Dudamel of the L.A. Philharmonic conducts the recording of Bernstein’s legendary score for Spielberg.
The cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita, Ana Isabelle as Rosalia, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke, and Curtiss Cook as Abe.
The cast members in the first look are (from left to right), Jets members Anybodys (Ezra Menas), Mouthpiece (Ben Cook), Action (Sean Harrison Jones); Jets leader Riff (Mike Faist); Baby John (Patrick Higgins); Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler); Maria’s brother and Sharks leader Bernardo (David Alvarez); and Sharks members Quique (Julius Anthony Rubio), Chago (Ricardo Zayas), Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera), Braulio (Sebastian Serra), and Pipo (Carlos Sánchez Falú).
Spielberg teased in previous conversations that the upcoming movie will add a different perspective to the popular story in comparison to the Broadway musical the 1961 movie adaptation. ‘West Side Story’ will be released by Disney in the U.S. on December 18, 2020.
Cover Image Courtesy: Fox.