Disney-Fox has released the first official image from Steven Spielberg’s next film, which is a new adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story. Spielberg maintains the setting and basic setup of the story—star-crossed lovers in 1950s New York City, inspired by Romeo and Juliet—but additional twists and turns may abound. The film reunites Spielberg with his Lincoln screenwriter Tony Kushner, and puts Ansel Elgort front and center as Tony alongside newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria.
This debut image isn’t necessarily groundbreaking—it looks like West Side Story!—but it is a nice reminder that Spielberg is finally making a musical. The acclaimed filmmaker has long wished to delve into the musical genre, dipping his toes into those waters with the delightful prologue to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. After having flirted with a new take on West Side Story for years, he’s finally making it happen.
The film’s music team includes renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who will helm the recording of Leonard Bernstein’s iconic score; Oscar-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia) who will be arranging the score for the new adaptation; Tony-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Broadway’s Fun Home), who will be working with the cast on vocals; and Grammy-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast), who will serve as executive music producer for the film.
The cast of the film is largely made up of new young performers, although Corey Stoll fills the role of Lieutenant Schrank, Brian d’Arcy James is Officer Krupke, and Rita Moreno—who won an Oscar for playing Anita in Robert Wise’s 1961 film adaptation of West Side Story—plays the new role of Valentina while also serving as an executive producer.
Take a look at the first West Side Story cast image below followed by a teaser poster as the long wait for the film’s release continues. The film doesn’t hit theaters until December 18, 2020.
Pictured left to right in this image 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).