IT’S HAPPENING. F$#^ It’s happening! Stay calm!
We have our FIRST look at the Jets and the Sharks from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.
I have been low-key (but actually very high-key) super excited for this movie.
First of all, Spielberg is directing it. Second, I’m a sucker for Romeo and Juliet. It’s one of my favorite plays of all time. Third, we are getting an actual latina to play Maria.
You might be thinking, why wouldn’t a latin young woman play Maria, a girl from Puerto Rico, in the original movie? My answer? I DON’T KNOW! Racism?!
The first West Side Story which released in 1961 had Natalie Wood play the leading role. If my memory serves me correctly, Rita Morena (an EGOT holder and a F#$^# legend) auditioned for the role but was denied. Of course, it worked out I suppose since she took home the Oscar for best supporting actress for her role as Anita (and my favorite character in the play).
Now, our new Maria, Rachel Zegler is half Colombian and half American. Uh, mmmm, fine. Sorry to pick, but Maria is Puerto Rican! You couldn’t find a young talented puerto rican actress? Really? Alright! I digress…
It’s an important time for this story to be readapted. Borrowing from Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story focuses around two gangs (Sharks and Jets) that absolutely hate each other. Why? Because one gang is made up of latin immigrants and the Sharks feel they’re coming into this country and F#$^# S#$&% up. Sound familiar? Depressed that this movie came out sixty years ago and we’re still talking about this? Yeah! Me too!
In the middle of the nonsense, a young Maria and Tony meet at a school dance and so begins their forbidden love.
This musical has a couple good songs, but the one I’m most excited to hear is Anita and Bernardo’s, America. Big song, big dance number, and it’s just fantastic. Ariana DeBose (actually of puerto rican descent, thank god) will be playing the role of Anita and will therefore be performing the song along with David Alvarez( Bernardo).
Though this film doesn’t come out until December 2020 (I F#$^# cant) this song might be the most culturally impactful? It’s literally a boyfriend and girlfriend fighting over how much the US does/doesn’t suck for immigrants.
Anyway, yes. Here is the first image of the cast! If you haven’t seen the 1961 film you should really check it out OR at the very least, give some of the songs a chance!