It was way back in the early 1960s when West Side Story hit movie theaters. The classic musical, based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and set among the gangs of Hell’s Kitchen was an instant success. It was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture.
Steven Spielberg is remaking the classic tale of the Jets and the Sharks, set in HK in the 1950s, and the first trailer for the upcoming release aired during the weekend’s Oscars ceremony – take a look!
“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 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.”
The new iteration is said to stick closer to the Broadway musical than the previous movie, and there’s even a role for Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for playing Anita in the 1961 film. “What a joy to work with this man,” she told Variety. “The sets will blow you away. You will really believe you’re in el barrio. It’s just astonishing.”
Ansel Elgort takes on the lead role of Tony opposite newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria, and Zegler is super excited to see herself on the big screen. “It just feels real now that I made something and people are going to see it. And it’s something that I’m really, really proud of. I had such a beautiful time making it,” she said.
We still have a while to wait for the film, which was pushed back a full year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All being well, West Side Story is set to debut in theaters on December 10.