Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” adaptation released an official trailer during the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday night. If you missed the promotional video during the event, you can watch it below for a quick preview of the cast and get a great look at the production.
The cast includes Ansel Elgort as Tony, Rachel Zegler as Maria, Rita Moreno as Valentina, Maddie Ziegler as Velma, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Brian d’Arcy James as Officer Krupke, Ana Isabelle as Rosalia, Ariana DeBose as Anita, and David Alvarez as Bernardo. Spielberg directed the project, working from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner.
The short description reads, “’West Side Story’ tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City.”
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. Larry Kert and Carol Lawrence starred as Tony and Maria.
MGM released the classic “West Side Story” movie adaptation in 1961. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins directed, with Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris starring in the film. 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.”
It will be interesting to see how well “West Side Story” does in theaters. Musical adaptations can be hit-or-miss with audiences, and this one is also a remake. Some adaptations do very well, like the 2012 adaptation of “Les Misérables” which made over $441M globally, and the “Chicago” musical made over $306M worldwide in 2002. Studios found success with “Moulin Rouge” in 2001, which made $184M, and “Dreamgirls” brought in $155M. All of those films also earned various Academy Award nominations.
The “Mamma Mia!” franchise alone made over $1B at the box office, and so did adaptations like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Lion King.” Not everyone walks away a winner though, “CATS” screened at a loss after bringing in $73M worldwide, and “RENT” only brought in $31M globally. Warner Bros. Pictures also has “In the Heights” coming out this year, so there’s competition in the spotlight.
photo credit: 20th century studios