The first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story gives us a taste of the personal drama, and massive dance numbers in his take on the musical movie. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler lead the romance movie, due in December.
Drawing from the Broadway musical of the same name, West Side Story tells of two gangs, the Jets and Sharks, and their increasingly heated rivalry in ’50s New York City. Tony (Elgort) and Maria (Zegler) are a pair of young lovebirds from either side who find themselves caught between allegiances in a turf war, and love. The 1957 stage version, created by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, sought to modernise William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
This new interpretation by Spielberg is the second big screen adaptation, just in time to mark the 60th anniversary of the 1961 version directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. While Robbins and Wise’s production has certainly stood the test of time, it’s believed that Spielberg is looking to draw a little more from Broadway than they did. Going by the staging and cinematography in the trailer, it does seem to have more of a classic staged musical vibe.
The Jaws director has talked about doing West Side Story since 2014. Tony Kushner, who’s worked with Spielberg on Munich and Lincoln, has written the script. It’s arriving at a good time, what with Hamilton proving popular on streaming service Disney Plus, and Annette being one of this year’s festival favourites. Helps, too, that it’s arriving for Christmas – who doesn’t love a festive song-and-dance?
Alongside Elgort and Zegler, the cast includes Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Corey Stoll, and Brian d’Arcy James, among a long list of others. Spielberg is producing, with Kristie Macosko Krieger and Kevin McCollum.
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