Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ Remake Finds Its Cast

Written by on January 29, 2019

Maria Therese Agcopra Agcopra – Fourth Estate Contributor

Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E) – Filmmaker Steven Spielberg has found his cast for his remake of the beloved Broadway play, ‘West Side Story’.

Ansel Elgort will play the lead role Tony while newcomer Rachel Zegler, a 17-year old high school student from New Jersey will play Maria.

Other cast members include Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Josh Andres Rivera as Chino and Rita Moreno as Valentina, an expanded version of the character Doc who is boss to Tony in a corner store he works in. Moreno has played Anita in the original 1961 film that won her an Academy Award. She will also serve as executive producer of the film.

William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet inspired West Side Story but set in the modern Upper West Side of New York in the 1950’s. The plot revolves around two gangs, The Sharks, who are Puerto Ricans and The Jets, mainly consisting of White folk. Tony, a member of The Jets falls in love with the sister of the member of The Sharks, Anita.

The Broadway play earned accolades not just in ticket sales but also in the Tony Awards where it was nominated in six categories including Best Musical, but eventually lost to ‘The Music Man’. It was reiterated on the big screen where it was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten including Best Picture in 1962.

Vanity Fair reports that the remake will take heavily on the Boradway play instead of its film version and will have audiences hearing all the iconic songs including ‘Tonight’, ‘I Feel Pretty’, ‘One Hand, One Heart’, to name a few.

The screenplay will be written by Tony Kushner and will begin filming summer of this year.

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