A Special Look at Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”

20th Century Studios has revealed a new special look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Storyhis long-awaited adaptation of the legendary musical. This fresh glimpse gives us a nearly wordless teaser set to Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein’s song “Somewhere” from the original 1957 Broadway show. We see our two star-crossed lovers, Rachel Zegler as Maria and Ansel Elgort as Tony, caught between two warring gangs in mid-century New York, with arresting establishing shots that are trademarks of Spielberg’s craft.

West Side Story centers on the tale of these two young lovers in the big city in the 1950s, inspired by the doomed romance that centered Shakespeare’s deathless “Romeo and Juliet,” with the Capulets and Montagues replaced here by the rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets. The original musical was written by the aforementioned Bernstein, Sondheim, and Arthur Laurents. Spielberg seems ideally suited to reinvigorate this legendary source material, marking the first big-screen adaptation in more than 60 years. The last time we this story played in a movie theater was in 1961 when director Robert Wise’s adaptation was released, starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, and Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance.

Moreno is back, now as Valentina, the role that was previously “Doc” in the 1961 version (played by Ned Glass). Valentina will offer guidance to the younger pups now taking center stage—or, screen. Moreno, Elgort, and Zegler are joined by Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll, and Brian d’Arcy James.

Spielberg turned to his Lincoln screenwriter and a legendary playwright in his own regard, Tony Kushner, to pen the script. Conductor Gustavo Dudamel is taking on Leonard Bernstein’s famous score, while Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori is getting the cast’s vocal chops in order. Composer David Newman will be arranging the music.

Check out the special look below. West Side Story hits theaters on December 10.

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Featured image: Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarez as Bernardo in 20th Century Studios’ WEST SIDE STORY. Photo by Niko Tavernise.


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