I’m not sure why we need a remake of West Side Story, but the 1957 Broadway Musical by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and it’s 1961 film adaptation from Tony Kushner gives us a timeless musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet in the streets of 1950’s New York City. If there’s any kind of movie I have no problem with seeing studios remake, it’s musicals. They are made to be remade. Hell, between summer camp and high school, I was involved in two versions of West Side Story myself… and one of them wasn’t even in English!

Today, Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment revealed the full cast listing of the film, led by Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria. Along with the cast listing, we also got our first synopsis of the film as well as our first look at the Sharks and The Jets. For me, the image looks like it’s promoting a high-end high school musical, and that’s OK. I’d rather see a West Side Story with a homey feel to it than something overly produced and inappropriately serious.

Here’s the named cast:

  • Tony – Ansel Elgort
  • Maria – Rachel Zegler
  • Anybodys – Ezra Menas
  • Mouthpiece – Ben Cook
  • Action -Sean Harrison Jones
  • Riff – Mike Faist
  • Baby John – Patrick Higgins
  • Bernardo – David Alvarez
  • Quique – Julius Anthony Rubio
  • Chago – Ricardo Zayas
  • Chino – Josh Andrés Rivera
  • Braulio – Sebastian Serra
  • Pipo -Carlos Sánchez Falú
  • Anita -Ariana DeBose
  • Rosalia – Ana Isabelle
  • Lieutenant Schrank – Corey Stoll
  • Officer Krupke – Brian d’Arcy James
  • Abe – Curtiss Cook

WEST SIDE STORY is produced and directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Academy Award®-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Tony Award®-winner Justin Peck will choreograph the musical numbers in the film. Also leading the production are Tony Award®-winning producer Kevin McCollum and Academy Award®-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.

The film’s music team includes renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who will helm the recording of Bernstein’s iconic score; Academy Award®-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia) who will be arranging the score for the new adaptation; Tony Award®-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Broadway’s Fun Home and Thoroughly Modern Millie), who will be working with the cast on vocals; and Grammy®-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), who will serve as executive music producer for the film.

WEST SIDE STORY will be released by The Walt Disney Studios in the US on December 18, 2020.

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