West Side Story First Look: Steven Spielberg’s Remake Unites The Jets And Sharks

The Sharks in West Side Story

As far as movie musicals go, there are few quite as iconic and beloved as West Side Story. The 1961 classic starred the likes of Natalie Wood and Rita Moreno, and won a whopping 10 Academy Awards after it first arrived in theaters. The movie and Broadway musical have remained apart of the pop culture lexicon in the decades since, which is why news of Stephen Spielberg's upcoming remake is so exciting.

Steven Spielberg is producing and directing the new West Side Story, which is set to arrive in theaters in December 2020. The cast was recently assembled, with a mixture of familiar faces and newcomers helping to flesh out the world of the piece. And now we've got our first glimpse at the Jets and Sharks of West Side Story, making the upcoming movie musical feel all the more real. Check it out below.

the new sharks and jets

Seriously, December 2020 can't come enough. This first glimpse sees the starring cast in costume, with the Sharks and Jets on either side of the famous star-crossed lovers. Tony and Maria appear to be happy and in love, although we all know how that ultimately ends up.

At the center of the above image are the leads of West Side Story, Tony (Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort) and Maria (newcomer Rachel Zegler). They're seen holding hands, almost as if they're "One Hand, One Heart". Given that they're not dressed for the dance at the gym, smart money says these costumes come into play later in the movie, after the two lovers have met and quickly fallen for each other.

Tony and Maria fall in love immediately a la Romeo and Juliet, but there are forces that make their relationship almost an impossibility. Their neighborhood is in the middle of an ongoing conflict between dancing street gangs. The Jets believe they're protecting their turf from the Puerto Rican Sharks, while the latter group fights for their new home.

Those Jets and Sharks are shown on either side of the young couple. And while the group of actors are happy in that image, we shouldn't expect the rival gangs to be so happy go lucky once West Side Story arrives in theaters. There's a ton of stage talent signed on to bring the remake to life, with Dear Evan Hansen's Mike Faist playing Jet leader Riff, and Hamilton's Ariana DeBose playing Anita.

There are also some big names filling out the adult cast, adding some star power to the new version of West Side Story. OG Anita Rita Moreno is playing new character Valentina, Ant-Man's Corey Stoll is playing Lt. Schrank, and 13 Reasons Why star Brian D'Arcy James is playing Officer Krupke.

With the cast assembled and costumed, its safe to say that production for West Side Story is amping up. The musical remake has all the makings of Oscar bait material, especially with Steven Spielberg personally behind the camera. So we'll just have to wait and see what comes from the set as the upcoming remake becomes reality.

West Side Story is currently set to arrive in theaters on December 18, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.