It all begins tonight! After getting pushed back a year amid the coronavirus pandemic, the first West Side Story remake teaser is finally here. Although Steven Spielberg's version looks a little different than the musical's lush 1961 adaptation, this trailer promises all the star-crossed romance and iconic songs you know and love.
Most of it sets up the basic plot of the movie: It's basically Romeo and Juliet with rival New York gangs (the Jets and the Sharks). The teaser opens on empty shots of the Jets and the Sharks' home turf, from a graffiti rendering of the Puerto Rican flag to an Irish pub.
Meanwhile, the Jets' famous three-note whistle plays as the rival gangs ominously converge in a shadowy garage in a direct homage to the original movie's opening scene. Then it's time to showcase the romance at the heart of West Side Story, as the trailer gives fans a glimpse of young lovers Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria's (Rachel Zegler) fateful first meeting at a local dance.
The musical's beloved song "Somewhere" begins to play as snippets of instantly recognizable scenes flash by in quick succession: Women dancing in the streets during "America," Tony arriving at Maria's fire escape, and the Jets and Sharks' final battle, just to name a few. There's also a quick shot of Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 film and also appears as a new character named Valentina in this version (yep, that's also her singing "Somewhere" in the trailer).
Although West Side Story was delayed from its original release date of December 18, 2020 because of COVID, the teaser assures audiences that they can finally set eyes on the new adaptation this December. In fact, West Side Story will now hit theaters on Dec. 10, coinciding with the 1961 film's 60th anniversary.
"This has been a journey without precedence: a joyful, stunning, moving, endlessly surprising encounter with the story and score of one of the world's greatest musicals," Spielberg wrote in a letter to audiences upon wrapping the film. "We filmed West Side Story all over New York, Flatbush to Fort Tryon Park. The city lent us its beauty and its energy, and we drew deeply upon its grand multicultural, multifaceted spirit."
Spielberg's remake has been a long time coming, but if the first West Side Story teaser is any indication, it's going to be worth the wait.