Ever since its original Broadway production in 1957, West Side Story has been redone over and over and over again, most recently with a panned Broadway revival in 2020 that failed to bring the classic story into the modern era. Maybe that’s why the big names behind Steven Spielberg’s upcoming telling of the Romeo and Juliet-inspired tale hesitate to call it a remake at all.
“We’re not trying to recreate, frame for frame, the 1961 film,” the movie’s Maria, Rachel Zegler, told Town & Country. “That film exists as this incredible piece of pop culture that everyone has seen and been affected by in some way. I don’t think any of us would ever try to recreate that.”
The latest trailer for the film, which dropped today, puts that into question. In the preview, fans of the original musical will see many familiar ideas, images, and motifs. There do seem to be some new scenes sneaking in there, however, including a character that was written specifically for West Side Story alum Rita Morena by Angels in America playwright Tony Kushner.
Alongside Morena and Zegler, the upcoming movie stars controversial actor Ansel Elgort as Tony and Hamilton’s Ariana DeBose as Anita. The latest take on the classic hits theaters December 10, 2021.