Award-winning director Steven Spielberg hast tackled almost all Hollywood genres, including science fiction with E.T., horror with Jaws, family movies with “The BFG” action thrillers, historical dramas, and war films.
But never in his nearly 50 years of directorial has he done a full-blown movie musical.
Production of its time, but that time has returned with a kind of social fury.
With Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical on rival street gang “West Side Story” — Spielberg embarked on a whole new directorial genre via this much-beloved musical.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” there was only one ‘West Side Story” movie that garnered over 10 Oscars, and regarded as one of the best movie musicals in history.
‘West Side Story” is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical and was adapted on the silver screen in 1961 by director Rober Wise.
The first official trailer of Spielberg’s “West Side Story” was released today. In the musical are Ansel Elgort as Tony and newcomer Rachel Zegler as Maria. The cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita and Mike Faist as Riff.
Also appearing in the movie musical is Rita Monera, whose performance as Anita in the 1961 version snagged an Oscar for best-supporting actress.
In a 2020 interview with Vanity Fair, Spielberg explained that his take on the musical is not only a “Production of its time, but that time has returned with a kind of social fury.”
Read the interview here: A First Look at Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story
Spielberg emphasized that he wanted to heavily portray the struggles of migrating and making a living and touching on topics like xenophobia and racial prejudice.
Set to premiere in December 10, 2021 in theaters, Spielberg also explained that he only wanted to cast Hispanic performers playing the role of Hispanic characters in the film.
Watch the first trailer of “West Side Story” below.