Audiences got an extensive first look at the movie musical on Wednesday with the release of the official trailer. The clip offers glimpses of Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers Tony and Maria, while Ariana DeBose is the focal point of sweeping dance sequences as Maria’s best friend, Anita.
Rita Moreno, who scored an Oscar for her performance as Anita in the original 1961 movie with Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, also makes a welcome appearance as Valentina, a newly written character.
Zegler won the role of Maria after a Twitter casting call and will be making her professional movie debut in the remake. In the clip, she performs a stirring version of “Tonight.” As many people on social media have pointed out, however, the trailer omits any trace of Elgort’s singing voice ― which is surprising given both the actor’s star billing and the fact that his character croons showstoppers such as “Something’s Coming” and “Maria.”
Catch the trailer for “West Side Story” below.
The stage version of “West Side Story,” written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, opened on Broadway in 1957. An updated take on Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” the musical broke fresh ground in its depiction of immigrant lives, gang violence and racism.
In an interview with Vanity Fair last year, Spielberg said that the currently divisive political and social climate made the themes in “West Side Story” relevant to a modern audience once again.
“This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it’s returned with a kind of social fury,” he told the publication. “I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”
The new “West Side Story” was initially slated to hit theaters last year, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now be released Dec. 10.