WEST SIDE STORY Steven Spielberg’s new flick: In 1962, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ big-screen adaptation of West Side Story became one of the most successful titles in the history of the Academy Awards, being nominated in 11 categories, and winning 10 of them. It was a historic night that further firmly cemented the movie’s legacy – so it definitely feels utterly appropriate that on the night of the 2021 Oscars we now have the very first trailer for the upcoming remake from director Steven Spielberg. Newcomer Rachel Zegler is Maria to Ansel Elgort’s Tony in this new film production of “West Side Story.”
WEST SIDE STORY At The Oscars
As part of the theme of this year’s Oscars theme “Bring Your Movie” love, stars of upcoming features tossed to trailers of their films. Actress Ariana DeBose, who hosted the Oscar pre-show tonight, and plays Anita in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming 20th Century Studios/Amblin West Side Story, showed the following above. It’s the first we’ve seen of the long-awaited remake of the Leonard Bernstein musical. West Side Story was originally scheduled to come out during the 2020 holiday season but was pushed to Dec. 10 this year. This is bound to be a big pleaser and reps Spielberg’s first live-action musical on the big screen.
Ariana DeBose, who plays the role of Anita in the remake, introduced the clip at the 93rd Academy Awards. Steven Spielberg, the director made Bridge Of Spies (2015), The BFG (2016), The Post (2017), and Ready Player One (2018), but his passion to make West Side Story remained consistent, and now it’s finally happening.
Watch the trailer below:
Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is written by frequent collaborator Tony Kushner, who earned screenwriting Oscar nominations for penning the director’s “Munich” and “Lincoln.” Ansel Elgort takes on the lead role of Tony opposite newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria. The ensemble cast also includes “The Prom” star Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, and Mike Faist as Riff. Also appearing are Corey Stroll, Brian d’Arcy James, and Rita Moreno, whose performance as Anita in the 1961 film won her the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress
The story itself is inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet,” and there’s already been one “West Side Story” movie that won 10 Oscars (including Best Picture) and is widely regarded as one of the best movie musicals ever made. No pressure, Spielberg.
Spileberg on West Side Story
“On every day of the past four years during which we’ve been preparing, casting, imagining West Side Story, I and my team, cast and crew have been walking in the footsteps of four giants: Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim,” Spielberg wrote in a letter. “For the light they’ve shed on the world, for Stephen Sondheim’s insight, guidance and support, and for the openhearted support of the Bernstein, Laurents and Robbins estates, I owe more than I can possibly express.”
Disney’s decision to release the first West Side Story during the Oscars could be an early way for them to get the movie in the minds of Academy voters. Steven Spielberg’s movies are almost always in the mix for awards. He’s directed ten Best Picture nominees, but only Schindler’s List has taken home the top prize. Meanwhile, Spielberg has been nominated for Best Director seven times and won twice, for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan. With more than two decades passing since Spielberg has won an Oscar, a great first trailer for West Side Story airing during the 2021 ceremony can start the campaign to get the movie and Spielberg some nominations and wins in 2022.
When Will “West Side Story” Be Released?
When last fall rolled around and Walt Disney Studios saw that the pandemic wasn’t going to allow movies to get full theatrical distribution, the company made the move to delay the film a week short of a full year. While the movie was originally meant to be out in December 2020, it will now be hitting theaters on December 10, 2021.
The 1961 classic won best picture at the 34th Academy Awards.