Steven Spielberg Talks Reimagining ‘West Side Story’ For Our Time, Shares First Photos

Fans have been given a first look at Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story”.

Vanity Fair published exclusive photos of the set, as well as an interview with the filmmaker about how he is reimagining a classic for our time.

Spielberg said of the upcoming flick, “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.

“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.”

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A synopsis for the movie reads, “An adaptation of the 1957 musical, ‘West Side Story’ explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.”

Ansel Elgort takes on the role of Tony, while Talia Ryder plays a Jet, Rachel Zegler plays Maria and Rita Moreno returns to play Valentina at age 88.

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Spielberg also revealed how he wanted performers with Hispanic backgrounds to play Hispanic characters, with him estimating that 20 of the 33 Puerto Rican characters were specifically Puerto Rican or of Puerto Rican descent.

“They brought themselves, and everything they believe and everything about them, they brought that to the work,” he shared. “And there was so much interaction between the cast wanting to be able to commit to the Puerto Rican experience.”

“West Side Story” is expected to hit theatres on Dec. 18, 2020.

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