Walt Disney Studios has debuted the first official look at Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story,” pictured above. The project, based on the iconic Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical of the same name, casts “Baby Driver” star Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, respectively. The first look photo above features the two characters surrounded by the film’s rival gangs, the Sharks and the Jets.
Pictured left to right are Jets members Anybodys (Ezra Menas), Mouthpiece (Ben Cook), Action (Sean Harrison Jones); Jets leader Riff (Mike Faist); Baby John (Patrick Higgins); Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler); Maria’s brother and Sharks leader Bernardo (David Alvarez); and Sharks members Quique (Julius Anthony Rubio), Chago (Ricardo Zayas), Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera), Braulio (Sebastian Serra) and Pipo (Carlos Sánchez Falú).
The supporting cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita, Ana Isabelle as Rosalia, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke, Curtiss Cook as Abe, and Rita Moreno as Valentina. Moreno, who won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for playing Anita in Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 “West Side Story” movie, is serving as one of the film’s executive producers. Wise and Robbins’ film won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is widely considered one of the best movie musicals ever made. Spielberg’s upcoming adaptation was adapted from the musical by his “Munich” and “Lincoln” scribe Tony Kushner.
The film’s music team includes conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who will helm the recording of Bernstein’s iconic score, and Academy Award-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (“Anastasia”), who will be arranging the score for the new adaptation. Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (“Fun Home” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) will be working with the cast on vocals, while Matt Sullivan (“Beauty and the Beast,” “Chicago”) will oversee the project as executive music producer for the film.
“West Side Story” marks the first movie musical of both Spielberg and Elgort’s careers. The former was last in theaters with back-to-back releases “The Post” and “Ready Player One,” the former of which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Elgort’s last major release was Edgar Wright’s “Baby Driver,” although he did appear in 2018 indies “Jonathan” and “Billionaire Boys Club.” Next up for the actor is this fall’s “The Goldfinch.”
Disney will release Spielberg’s “West Side Story” in theaters December 18, 2020.