First look at Steven Spielberg’s new version of ‘West Side Story’

Fans of musical theatre can get their first taste of Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of West Side Story. The teaser trailer for the film was featured during this morning’s broadcast of the Academy Awards.

Directed by Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, West Side Story tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.

This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as María, Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez  as Bernardo, Mike Faist as Riff, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino, Ana Isabelle as Rosalía, while Corey Stoll plays Lieutenant Schrank) and Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke).

The clip begins with some dark and ominous shots before exploding into a bursting display of dance, movement and colour.

The trailer also features a shot of actor Rita Moreno, who appeared in the original 1961 film. Moreno also reportedly sings the tender rendition of Somewhere that appears over the clip.

She played Anita in the 1961 version, and in the production returns to play 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 – also serves as one of the film’s executive producers.

The musical which features music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim made it debut on Broadway in 1957. The first film version was released in 19612 staring Natalie Wood,  Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris, alongside Moreno.

It was directed by Robert Wise, who would have continued success with The Sound of Music, and featured acclaimed choreography from Jerome Robbins. The 1961 film has been criticised for it’s use of ‘brown face’, and dubbing Natalie Wood’s voice with that of Marni Nixon.

Steven Speilberg shared his long love of the musical in an interview with Vanity Fair, sharing that the soundtrack of the 1957 stage production was the first piece of non-classical music his parents allowed in the house.

The film was originally intended for release in 2020 but was pushed back due to COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be released in December to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the original film.

Take a look at the teaser trailer. 

West Side Story will be in Australian cinemas on 9th December, 2021.

OIP Staff


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