Something big is (finally) coming to theaters this holiday season in the form of Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” remake.
Audiences got their first in-depth look at the musical on Wednesday with the release of the official trailer. The clip offers glimpses of Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as doomed lovers Tony and Maria, while Ariana DeBose is the focal point of dance sequences as Maria’s best friend, Anita.
Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in the original 1961 film starring Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, also makes a welcome appearance as newly-written character Valentina.
Zegler won the role of Maria after a casting on Twitter and will make her professional film debut in the remake. In the clip, she performs a touching version of “Tonight”. As many people on social media have underline, however, the trailer omits all trace of Elgort’s singing voice – which is surprising given both the actor’s star and the fact that his character sings showstoppers such as “Something’s Coming” and ” Maria “.
Watch the trailer for “West Side Story” below.
The stage version of “West Side Story,” written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, opened on Broadway in 1957. An updated version of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the musical broke new ground in its portrayal of immigrant life, gang violence and racism.
In an interview with Vanity Fair last year, Spielberg said the current divisive political and social climate made the themes of “West Side Story” relevant to a modern audience once again.
“This story is not just a product of his time, but that time has come back, and he has come back with a kind of social fury,” he told the publication. “I really wanted to relate this Puerto Rican and Nuyorican experience of migrating to this country and struggling to earn a living, have children and fight against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”
The new “West Side Story” was originally scheduled to hit theaters last year, but has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be released on December 10.
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