Amblin has shared the first look at Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story. Anita, who was played by Rita Moreno in the 1961 film, is portrayed by Ariana DeBose in the 2020 release. Moreno, who won an Academy Award for the film, will play Valentina, a reconceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.
An adaptation of the original Broadway musical, West Side Story explores young love and tensions between rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks on the streets of 1957 New York. In the film, the Jets characters and actors include Anybodys (Ezra Menas), Mouthpiece (Ben Cook), Action (Sean Harrison Jones); leader Riff (Mike Faist); Baby John (Patrick Higgins); Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler). Maria’s brother and Sharks leader Bernardo is played by David Alvarez, and the rest of the Sharks are Quique (Julius Anthony Rubio), Chago (Ricardo Zayas), Chino (Josh Andrés Rivera), Braulio (Sebastian Serra) and Pipo (Carlos Sánchez Falú).
In addition to DeBose and Moreno, the cast also includes Ana Isabelle (Rosalia), Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank), Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke), and Curtiss Cook (Abe).
West Side Story is produced and directed by Steven Spielberg from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film will be adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins. Also leading the production are Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum and Academy Award-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger. In addition to her work in front of the camera, Rita Moreno will serve as one of the film’s Executive Producers. Tony Award-winning choreographer Justin Peck will choreograph the film.
The film’s music team includes renowned conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who will helm the recording of Bernstein’s iconic score; Academy Award-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia) who will be arranging the score for the new adaptation; Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Broadway’s Fun Home and Thoroughly Modern Millie), who will be working with the cast on vocals; and Grammy-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), who will serve as executive music producer for the film.
Disney’s 20th Century Fox will release the film on December 18, 2020.