West Side Story: Release date, plot, trailer, and all you need to know about Steven Spielberg's remake

A still from the upcoming West Side Story remake (Image via 20th Century Studios)
A still from the upcoming West Side Story remake (Image via 20th Century Studios)

West Side Story is one of the most iconic Broadway plays to have been adapted into a Hollywood movie in 1961. Remakes are usually looked at with doubt, but if anyone could do it justice, it would be director Steven Spielberg.

The trailer for the 2021 remake was released during the 93rd Academy Awards, more than a year after filming. Originally scheduled to premiere in December 2020, the West Side Story remake release was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Here are some details about the updated release of the film, the cast, and everything else about the film.

When and where will West Side Story release?

The West Side Story remake is scheduled to release in theaters on December 10th, 2021.

Plot of West Side Story

Arthur Laurents' musical was inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and is set in the upper West Side of New York City, a diversely populated blue-collar neighborhood, in the 1950s.

Amid the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenagers from street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds, Tony of the former and Maria of the latter, fall in love.

The West Side Story remake will be closer to the Broadway musical than the 1961 film adaptation.

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The West Side Story remake is directed by Steven Spielberg (known for the Indiana Jones series, Minority Report, and more) after he first expressed an interest in 2014.

By 2018, it was confirmed that Spielberg would direct the West Side Story remake, and casting began. Filming took place in 2019.

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Cast of West Side Story

The roles of Tony and Maria will be played by Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars, The Divergent Series, Baby Driver) and Rachel Zegler. The latter was cast after Spielberg posted an open casting call for West Side Story via social media and was selected from over 30,000 applicants.

The movie also stars Ariana DeBose (So You Think You Can Dance, The Prom), David Alvarez (Billy Elliot the Musical, On the Town), Mike Faist (Dear Evan Hansen, Newsies), Corey Stoll (Billions, Midnight in Paris, House of Cards) and Brian d'Arcy James (13 Reasons Why, Spotlight, The Ferryman).

It also has Rita Moreno, who was part of the cast in the 1961 adaptation of West Side Story.


Readers can view the trailer for West Side Story below.


Spielberg said of the West Side Story remake to Vanity Fair:

"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."

He wanted to portray the Puerto Rican and Nuyorican experience of migration to the country, the struggle to make a living, and having a family while battling against xenophobia and racial prejudice.