It’s here, you guys! Yep, after months of anticipation, the trailer for Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming West Side Story remake has finally dropped. The trailer debuted during the 2021 Oscars and then, the movie’s official Twitter account posted it online, and it’s honestly making us even more excited for the dazzling new flick — if that’s possible.
And get this, you guys — they also announced the release date for the new version of the classic musical. Mark your calendars, people, because it’s set to hit theaters on December 10, 2021, which means we’re only a few months away now! But wait, who is starring in the flick, you ask? What’s it going to be about? Will it follow the same exact story as the original or will some things be different? And what have the cast said about it so far? Not to worry, you guys, because we broke it all down for you. Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming West Side Story remake…
What Is The ‘West Side Story’ Remake Going To Be About?
As fans know, originally, West Side Story started as a Broadway play in 1957. The music and the story quickly stole the hearts of the nation, and in 1961 they decided to turn it into a movie — which won 10 Academy Awards that year! The story is loosely based off of William Shakespeare‘s Romeo and Juliet. It’s about two gangs — the Sharks and the Jets — battling for control of the upper west side streets. But the situation becomes even more complicated when one of the gang members falls in love with a rival’s sister. Sounds intense, right?!
Who Is Starring In It?
And just wait until you find out who is starring in the new movie! Drum roll please… Ansel Elgort (who fans may recognize from The Fault In Our Stars and the Divergent movies) has been cast as Tony, while newcomer Rachel Zegler has landed the role of Maria! Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Ana Isabelle, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Curtiss Cook and more have also joined the cast. Wow, with stars like that, we know this movie is going to be amazing.
Rita Moreno (who played Anita in the original movie) will even make an appearance in the movie!
“From our earliest discussions, we wanted to include Rita Moreno in our production,” Spielberg said during a press release. “Her Anita is one of the greatest musical performances ever filmed and a personal favorite of mine. We created an original role for her, and we feel beyond fortunate that Rita will bring her extraordinary gifts as an actress as well as her deep understanding of West Side Story to this production as an executive producer.”
And she was just as excited to join! She gushed, “Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work. And to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling! Then to work together with the brilliant playwright, Tony Kushner—what a glorious stew! I am tingling!”
Oh, and Zegler may be a newcomer to the big screen but that doesn’t mean she isn’t super talented. The 16-year-old New Jersey native actually played Maria in her local production of West Side Story before she landed the role, so she definitely knew the ins and outs of the character. She also went viral in 2018 after she posted a video of herself singing Lady Gaga‘s “Shallow,” and the entire internet was impressed with her amazing singing voice — so we cannot wait to see her performance!
What Has The Cast Spilled About The Movie So Far?
According to Zegler, this role is very important to her because she wants to be a role model to young Latinx girls.
“[This movie is] a beautiful display of Latin joy and the way that young Latin girls deserve to see themselves — dancing around in pretty dresses and singing about loving themselves,” she told Vogue in November 2020. “It’s something that’s mattered so much to me, being Latina, singing ‘I Feel Pretty’ and meaning it. I hope that young people everywhere will know that their features are gorgeous and their culture is beautiful. I think that’s what it’s meant to my family.”
Plus, Spielberg revealed to Vanity Fair in March 2020 that more than half of the film’s Puerto Rican characters are portrayed by Latinx actors.
“They brought an authenticity,” he explained. “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.”
After filming wrapped last year, Zegler took to her Instagram to gush over how amazing Spielberg was to work with, calling him her “creative guardian and [an] absolute angel of a man.”
“Thank you beyond words for taking a chance on me. Your generosity will never cease to amaze me,” she wrote. “I have learned so much from my time in West Side Story. I’m not sure if any words will ever be good enough to sum up just how amazing it was. to my fellow cast mates, crew members, creative team and collaborators, and everyone in-between — we made a movie. a real movie! i don’t think i can fully comprehend that yet; I’ll let you know when I can.”
She added, “To all of you — sitting at home, wondering if we really need another version of West Side Story… wonder no longer. This movie is incredible. It’s important, and wonderful, and depicts what the world needs right now: LOVE. And finally, to all of the young women of color sitting there, wondering if their dreams will ever come true, yes, they will. Be patient and treat the world with kindness. Maintain your hearts of gold, but don’t be afraid to fight. This is it, my friends. this is what it looks like when your dreams come true. I am just so d**n lucky. And you know what? I feel pretty.”