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First Look At Steven Spielberg's West Side Story Revealed

It's time to meet the new Sharks and Jets. 

On Monday, June 17, Amblin Entertainment unveiled the first photo from Steven Spielberg's much-discussed West Side Story remake

A silver-screen take on the beloved Broadway musical that debuted in the 1950s, the new West Side Story stars Ansel Elgort as Tony, a member of the predominantly white Jets gang, and Rachel Zegler as Maria, the sister of David Alvarez's Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks gang. The picture shows Elgort's Tony and Zegler's Maria, two teens not meant to fall for one another but who end up doing so anyway, looking longingly into each other's eyes. 

Behind Elgort are several members of the Jets crew: Mike Faist as the leader Riff, Ezra Menas as Anybodys, Patrick Higgins as Baby John, Sean Harrison Jones as Action, and Ben Cook as Mouthpiece. Next to Zegler are the Sharks boys: Alvarez as Bernardo, Julius Anthony Rubio as Quique, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino, Carlos Sánchez Falú as Pipo, Sebastian Serra as Braulio, and Ricardo Zayas as Chago. 

Missing from this first-look snap are a few key characters, like Ariana DeBose as Bernardo's girlfriend Anita, Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Ana Isabelle as fellow Sharks girl Rosalia, and Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 West Side Story movie, as a new version of the corner store owner Doc — this time around named Valentina. 

Spielberg might not be the director one would pick when dreaming of a West Side Story remake given his affinity for dramas and actioners, but the guy has been wanting to dive into the musical movie world for quite some time. He first expressed interest in adapting West Side Story in particular in 2014. Shortly after, 20th Century Fox purchased the film rights, and by 2017, Spielberg collaborator Tony Kushner was getting a script for the remake going. It's fantastic hearing that production on the new West Side Story movie is finally underway, after all this time Spielberg has spent waiting to make it happen.

West Side Story will undoubtedly be exciting for its stars as well, especially Elgort and Zegler. For Elgort, the movie offers a chance to show off his musical side to a global audience who may not be aware of his off-screen endeavors. Though he's known for roles in The Fault in Our Stars, the Divergent franchise, Baby Driver, and more, Elgort is also a singer and a DJ who performs under the name Ansølo. The tunes of West Side Story are a far cry from the synth-y house tracks Elgort has produced, but that difference will likely prove thrilling for both the actor and the audience. For Zegler, West Side Story is a career-making opportunity. The high school student is a total newcomer, having been cast after submitting an online audition tape of herself singing "Tonight" and "Me Siento Hermosa" ("I Feel Pretty"). If all goes well with critics and at the box office, West Side Story could be the beginning of a bright future in Hollywood for Zegler. 

West Side Story is scheduled to premiere in theaters on December 18, 2020.