Twentieth Century Fox on Saturday offered a first look at Ariana DeBose as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming remake of “West Side Story.”
DeBose, a former “So You Think You Can Dance” contestant who earned a Tony nomination last year playing Mary Wilson in the Donna Summer bio-musical “Summer,” will step into the role made famous by Chita Rivera on Broadway in 1957 and then by Rita Moreno in the 1961 film adaptation, which earned her an Academy Award.
“West Side Story” explores young love and tensions between rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks on the streets of 1957 New York. The cast also includes Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (Maria); Ana Isabelle (Rosalia); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d’Arcy James (Officer Krupke); Curtiss Cook (Abe) and Moreno, who plays Valentina and also serves as one of the film’s executive producers. The film is now in production for Twentieth Century Fox and The Walt Disney Studios.
Spielberg is directing and producing from a script by Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The film has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurents with music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and concept, direction and choreography by Jerome Robbins.
Tony winner Justin Peck will choreograph the musical numbers in the film. Also leading the production are Tony-winning producer Kevin McCollum and Oscar-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger.
The film is due in theaters Dec. 18, 2020.