Here's why the 2020 film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story could even be better than the 1961 film.
The 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story is getting a film adaptation and our hearts are already dancing!
From casting real-life Latinos and Latinas to play essential Sharks characters, to bringing back former actors to play new key roles in the film; West Side Story is raising the bars really high.
Here's a first look, plus all you need to know about the upcoming film adaptation.
In the 1950s, two rival gangs prowl the streets of New York City: the Jets (White Americans) and the Sharks (Puerto Rican Americans).
An already problematic situation became more complicated when Maria (the sister of Bernardo, Shark's leader) met Tony (a member of the Jets) and fell in love after meeting in a dance.
As the rivalry between the two gangs intensifies, Maria and Tony have to fight harder for their love.
The new West Side Story film is set to release on December 18, 2020. It is already In post-production, and there are no challenges reported so far.
Few fresh faces are portraying the classic broadway characters in the 2020 adaptation. The film is committed to casting the right actors based on the characters' ethnic backgrounds. The 2018 casting call announced that they are looking for Latina actresses to play the roles of Maria and Anita, a Caucasian actor as Tony, and a Latino actor as Bernardo, all between the ages of 15 and 25.
This is a highly welcomed move considering there have been a lot of campaigns requesting proper cultural and ethnic representations in the industry.
One of the most interesting casting facts for the film is that the iconic role of Maria will be played by a Colombian-American high school student from New Jersey, Rachel Zegler.
Rita Moreno who played Anita in the 1961 film and won an Oscar for her performance will also be part of the 2020 adaptation as Valentina.
The Fault in Our Stars American actor Ansel Elgort will play the role of Tony.
The remaining cast members of the Jets are as follows:
Anybodys is played by Ezra Menas, Mouthpiece is portrayed by Ben Cook, and Action is played by Sean Harrison Jones. Leader Riff is played by Mike Faist; Baby John will be starred by Patrick Higgins.
Meanwhile, the following actors are meant to play the Sharks. Maria’s brother and Sharks' leader Bernardo is played by David Alvarez. Quique is portrayed by Julius Anthony Rubio, Chago is played by Ricardo Zayas, Chino is played by Josh Andrés Rivera, Braulio as Sebastian Serra, and Pipo as Carlos Sánchez Falú.
Moreno is not only returning as an actor but also as a valuable mentor to the younger casts. Talking to Vanity Fair, the veteran actress shared how she provided inputs on the Sharks' performance on one of the scenes. She is also paying close attention to the script's Spanish parts.
The film will be directed by Hollywood's legendary director, Steven Spielberg. The renowned director has been in love with its story since he was a child. Tony Kushner will pen the screenplay.
With these great minds on board, this 2020 adaptation would surely be tremendous.
There is no official trailer yet, however, we already had our first look of the film through a series of photos. These photos are published in this article.