A teaser was released during the Oscars. Now Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic 1957 Broadway musical West Side Story gets the full trailer treatment.
West Side Story is a musical with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. It was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.
Like the original musical, and movie adaption, this version of West Side Story remains set in 1950s New York and follows a Puerto Rican immigrant named Maria (Rachel Zegler) as she falls in love with a white guy named Tony (Ansel Elgort), once a leader of a gang called The Jets. Tony Is struggling to distance himself from his past in The Jets, who are now locked in a feud with the Puerto Rican gang The Sharks. Unfortunately for them, Maria’s brother Bernardo (David Alvarez) is the leader of The Sharks.
The dark theme, sophisticated music, extended dance scenes, and focus on social problems marked a turning point in musical theatre in the late 1950s. Bernstein’s score for the musical includes Jet Song, Maria, America, I Feel Pretty and A Boy Like That.
The original 1957 Broadway production, conceived, directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins and produced by Robert E. Griffith and Harold Prince, marked Sondheim’s Broadway debut. It ran for 732 performances before going on tour. The production was nominated for six Tony Awards including Best Musical in 1958, but the award for Best Musical went to Meredith Willson’s The Music Man.
Robbins won the Tony Award for his choreography and Oliver Smith won for his scenic designs. The show had an even longer-running London production, a number of revivals, and international productions. A 1961 musical film adaptation, co-directed by Robert Wise and Robbins, starred Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. The film was nominated for eleven Academy Awards and won ten, including Best Picture.
Spielberg pushed to make sure Hispanic performers played the ensemble of Hispanic characters, including many performers from Puerto Rico.
It has a $100 million budget to cover and will be released by 20th Century Studios in cinemas on December 10th. A musical is a departure for Spielberg but those visuals look very promising.