by BWW News Desk
Something great is coming! Stephen Spielberg's film adaptation of the classic musical West Side Story has officially started filming and is set to release at the end of next year! To get you all ready to see the Jets and Sharks on the big screen, we've gathered all the info you need to know about the movie, from the casting to a peek at the film's Maria, Rachel Zegler! Check it all out below!
About West Side Story (2020)
The film, which is set to release on December 18, 2020, is an adaptation of the 1957 musical with an iconic score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and a book by Arthur Laurents. The film is being directed by the legendary Stephen Spielberg with Pulitzer Prize winner Tony Kushner penning the film's screenplay.
Kushner recently revealed that he would be leaving the musical numbers intact, and that the story would be more similar to the original musical than to the 1961 film, saying "It's not a straightforward remake [of the movie], but it's definitely the Jets and the Sharks. It's New York City. I think people will find a new way to love the story and to love the songs through our interpretation."
Acclaimed conductor Gustavo Dudamel will be guiding the baton for the film's recording of the score. Also part of the music team are Oscar®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman who will be arranging the Bernstein score for the new adaptation; Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori who will be working with the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan, who will serve as executive music producer for the film.
West Side Story 2020 Cast
Ansel Elgort - Tony
Ansel is known for his performances as Augustus Waters in The Fault in Our Stars and as the titular role in Baby Driver, the latter of which garnered him a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. He began his professional acting career with 2013's film remake of the horror classic Carrie, landing the role just makes onths after his high school graduation. He also appeared as Caleb Prior in the Divergent film series starting in 2014. As a singer, he has released multiple singles including "Thief," "You Can Count on Me," "All I Think About is You," and "Supernova."
Rachel Zegler - Maria
Rachel is a 17-year old actress and singer-songwriter from New Jersey who is making her film debut as Maria. Rachel applied for the role after seeing a casting call on Twitter asking for Latino and Latina actors. Rachel played Maria in a Performing Arts School presentation of West Side Story at the Berger Performing Arts Centre. She has also starred in local, regional, and school productions of Thoroughly Modern Millie, 42nd Street, and Rent. She has also taken on the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Serena in Legally Blonde, Cosette in Les Miserables, Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and Fiona in Shrek the Musical. She was nominated for a Metropolitan High School Theater Award for her performance in Beauty and the Beast in 2016.
Ariana DeBose - Anita
Ariana is a Tony Award nominee for her performance as Disco Donna in Summer. She has also starred on Broadway as Jane in A Bronx Tale, the Leading Player in Pippin, Mary Wilson in Motown: The Musical, and Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical. She was also an original cast member of Hamilton, appearing in the ensemble of both its Off-Broadway and Broadway runs. She also appeared in the staged concert of Company with the New York Philharmonic alongside Neil Patrick Harris. She was also on the sixth season of So You Think You Can Dance as part of the Top 20.
Mike Faist - Riff
Mike is a Tony Award nominee for his performance as Connor Murphy in Dear Evan Hansen. He is also known for his performance as Morris Delancey in the original company of Newsies, appearing in both the Paper Mill Playhouse and Broadway productions. He recently appeared in Second Stage Theater's production of Days of Rage and has also been seen Off-Broadway in Appropriate and A Month in the Country. His film credits include The Unspeakable Act, The Grief of Others, Our Time, I Can I Will I Did, Active Adults, and Wildling.
David Alvarez - Bernardo
David is one of the original trio of Billys in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot, for which he received a Tony Award in 2009 alongside Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish. He was named as one of the top ten young ballet dancers to watch during this time in Dance Spirit Magazine. After leaving the theater to serve in the US Army, he returned to the stage as a swing in the 2014 Broadway revival of On the Town. He was found by West Side Story's casting director while attending Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in the fall of 2018.
Corey Stoll - Police Lieutenant Schrank
Corey is known for his roles as Dr. Ephraim Goodweather on FX's The Strain and Congressman Peter Russo in Netflix's House of Cards, the latter of which garnered him a Golden Globe nomination in 2013. He has also been seen on the big screen as Darren Cross in Ant-Man, Ernest Hemingway in Midnight in Paris, Fred Wyshak in Black Mass, and Buzz Aldrin in First Man. He was also a regular cast member on Law & Order: LA and has been seen Off-Broadway in Intimate Apparel.
Brian d'Arcy James - Police Sergeant Krupke
Brian is currently starring on Broadway as Quinn Carney in the Tony-winning play The Ferryman. He is a Tony Award nominee for his performances in Something Rotten, Shrek the Musical, and Sweet Smell of Success. His other Broadway credits include Hamilton, Next to Normal, Time Stands Still, and The Apple Tree. He also appeared as Andy Baker in the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and as Matty Carroll in the Oscar-winning film Spotlight.
Rita Moreno - Valentina
Rita played the role of Anita in the 1961 movie adaptation of West Side Story, for which she received an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared as Tuptim in the 1956 film adaptation of The King and I. Over her seventy-year career, she has also received an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony, making her one of only fifteen people in history to have the EGOT. She also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004 and the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award in 2015.