By Nick Romano
March 16, 2020 at 09:18 AM EDT

West Side Story (2021 film)

Ready to dance again? Unlike many of the spring Hollywood releases, Steven Spielberg's West Side Story movie musical, already scheduled for a December 2020 theatrical bow, is still on the docket. So, now's as good a time as any to get a new look at what the filmmaker is cooking up.

West Side Story
© 2019 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved.Photo by Ramona Rosales.Left to Right:Anybodys (Ezra Menas), Mouthpiece (Ben Cook), Action (Sean Harrison Jones); Jets leader Riff (Mike Faist); Baby John (Patrick Higgins); Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler); Maria’s brother and Sharks leader Bernardo (David Alvarez); and Sharks members Quique (Julius Anthony Rubio), Chago (Ricardo Zayas), Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera), Braulio (Sebastian Serra) and Pipo (Carlos Sánchez Falú)
| Credit: Ramona Rosales/Fox

A batch of new photos and tidbits come by way of Vanity Fair, which gives us fresh looks at Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as the new Tony and Maria, Broadway star Ariana DeBose as Anita, Rita Moreno (who played Anita in the original 1961 film) as the new role of Valentina, and a glimpse at the big "Mambo" high school dance-off number.

“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,” Spielberg said. “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.”

West Side Story is still the story about Tony, a former head of the Jets gang, falling in love with Maria, whose brother Bernardo (David Alvarez) leads the rival Sharks gang. But Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance as Anita way back when, emphasized Spielberg's mission to right some wrongs with that first film adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical.

"I don’t know if that’s…yes, that’s fair, because the [1961] film had a lot of things that were wrong with it, aside from the fact that it had a lot of things that were very right,” she said. The movie's lack of Puerto Rican actors being one of them. “That’s what they were trying to fix and ameliorate," she added, "and I think they have done an incredible job.”

Read the full story at Vanity Fair.

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West Side Story (2021 film)

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  • Steven Spielberg