While we all know big things happen at The Oscars, the sneaky premiere of Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story at this year’s 93rd Academy Awards is a whole new level of awesome.
The upcoming movie, which is piped for a December release this year, is Spielberg’s first foray into the musical genre, a stark contrast to his suite of monumental sci-fi and action films and, if you’re a movie fanatic, it goes without saying that this is a big deal.
The screenplay helms in hard from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award® winner Tony Kushner (Angels In America, Munich, Lincoln) and is set to star some musical legends like Ansel Elgort (as Tony); Rachel Zegler (as María); Ariana DeBose (as Anita); David Alvarez (as Bernardo); Mike Faist (as Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (as Chino); Ana Isabelle (as Rosalía); Corey Stoll (as Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (as Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works).
If you haven’t witnessed the OG movie or been to a West Side Story musical before, there’s a few things to know. The 1961 film was the highest-grossing film of the year when it first came out and ended up being nominated for 11 Academy Awards. West Side Story scooped up 10 of these, making it the record holder for the most wins ever for a musical.
The musical is almost a Grease meets Romeo And Juliet vibe, telling the tale of the fierce rivalry between gangs on the harsh streets of the upper west side of New York. There are two main gangs who regularly fight it out over turf in these streets, The Jets (made up of Anglo Americans) and The Sharks (made up of Peurto Ricans). However, the ongoing beef between the two becomes messy when one gang member falls in love with his rival gang’s younger sister. Scope out the trailer below.
West Side Story will launch in cinemas December 9, 2021.
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Image credit: 20th Century