6 Most Beautiful Shots In West Side Story's First Trailer

Rachel Zegler stepping onto the dance floor in West Side Story.

On the best possible night, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story finally released the first trailer to its exciting December release. The wait to see this musical remake looks absolutely worth it, as this initial peek at the footage is filled with chillingly beautiful images that just might find themselves honored at next year’s Oscar ceremony. For now though, let’s take a look at the six most beautiful shots in West Side Story’s first trailer.

New York City at dawn in West Side Story.

New York At Dawn

It may not be much to see New York City at dawn, especially when anything is possible in a modern remake of West Side Story. But in pure Steven Spielberg form, the start of this trailer promises a very practical looking approach, in a staging that feels so familiar. Spielberg’s eye for classic Hollywood, as well as his tendency to shoot on film, already make his take on West Side Story feel so close to the original that old school fans will be pleased.

The Jets and the Sharks meet in the alley in West Side Story.

Jets vs. Sharks - Crossing Shadows

If you were to boil down West Side Story to a handful of concepts, one of the most iconic would be the clash between the street gangs at the heart of it all: the Jets and the Sharks. And throughout the trailer, we see various glimpses of both gangs marching towards each other, in the name of streetbound combat. But perhaps the greatest shot from that classic rivalry is one of the first, which shows us both groups heading to each other in a dark alley, ready to rumble.

Rita Moreno sits at her counter in West Side Story.

The Return Of Rita Moreno

60 years ago, Rita Moreno was a part of the original cast that would make directors Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ initial film adaptation of West Side Story a cinematic masterpiece. Moreno played the role of Anita in that version, winning an Oscar in the process. So the moment that Steven Spielberg announced he had cast the legendary talent in his version, the world was anticipating how she’d fit in. Getting to see her in character, as well as hear her singing the classic tune “Somewhere” in this new trailer, is another key touch to making this new spin on a beloved classic something to look forward to.

Rachel Zegler walking behind the bleachers in West Side Story.

Maria In The Gym

Maria and Tony’s romance in West Side Story, even though it may be a take on Romeo and Juliet, is still one of those loves that has endured the history of romantic drama. So if you lose people with that storyline, there’s nowhere to go but down. But even with something as simple as showing Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler meeting behind the bleachers at the big school dance, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story absolutely nails it’s mission; with Zegler’s side of the scene showcasing a young talent the world will undoubtedly be talking about.

The dance at the school gym in West Side Story.

The Dance At The Gym

West Side Story is a very personal romance, and a gang war epic, thrown into one. But above all else, this is a musical, and there are certain numbers and songs that need to be presented as big and beautiful as possible. Much as Maria and Tony’s encounter at the school dance is something to look forward to, the big dance number that sees Jets and Sharks alike cutting a rug absolutely looks like it’s going to make West Side Story a true big screen event.

Tony and Maria stand on their balconies in West Side Story.

That Iconic Balcony Scene

You knew this was going to make the list, just as we all knew that the iconic balcony shot that hears Tony singing “Maria” was going to be included in Steven Spielberg’s modern remake. West Side Story ends its trailer with just a peek at this moment, hammering home what may be the moment that this film will live or die by. If this is any indication, there is indeed life in this movie, and very beautiful life at that.

West Side Story is going to make and break hearts for a new generation of moviegoer, giving Steven Spielberg the musical he’s always dreamed of directing. December 10th now seems like an eternity away, after seeing these beautiful shots on display. But before that day comes, we’ll probably see, and hear, even more evidence that this musical revamp was a good idea after all.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.