Ariana DeBose takes the spotlight in one of the first promotional pictures for “West Side Story,” which is scheduled to hit theaters in December 2020. DeBose is starring in the film as Anita, the role that Rita Moreno played in the 1961 movie release that won her the Academy Award. Moreno is returning to the screen in the new adaptation, but she is playing the role of Valentina this time around.
The movie is an adaptation of the iconic “West Side Story” Broadway musical. Oscar-winning filmmaker Steven Spielberg is directing the new adaptation, working from a screenplay by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tony Kushner. Spielberg, Kevin McCollum, and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the movie for the studio.
The original musical debuted in 1957. Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim wrote the original musical, with music by Leonard Bernstein, and concept, direction, and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Chita Rivera starred in the role of Anita in the original Broadway production, with Larry Kert starring as Tony and Carol Lawrence starring as Maria.
Inspired by William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” “West Side Story” explores forbidden love, and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
The other castings for the 2020 movie include Rita Moreno as Valentina, Ansel Elgort as Tony, Maddie Ziegler as Velma, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke, Rachel Zegler as Maria, Ana Isabelle as Rosalia, and David Alvarez as Bernardo.
MGM released the classic “West Side Story” adaptation in 1961. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins directed that movie, which featured Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris. The movie was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten of them. The film picked up awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Sound Mixing, Best Original Music, Best Supporting Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. The film was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, but lost to “Judgment at Nuremberg.”
The studio teased the cast of main characters in the promotional picture below.
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