The latest rumble between the Jets and the Sharks has come to a close as director Steven Spielberg wrapped production on his iteration of West Side Story. The official Amblin Twitter account posted pics from the set as well as a letter of gratitude from the Oscar-winning filmmaker, who notes that the production officially wrapped on September 28 in Brooklyn.
“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 his letter. “My brilliantly talented, fiercely committed, generous and apparently inexhaustible cast and crew of hundreds have given our film everything they’ve got, and already I can say that the film we’ll be releasing on December 18, 2020, owes everything to them as does its immensely grateful director.”
Spielberg continues giving gratitude to being able to walk in the footsteps of the “four giants” before him: Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim.
He continued: “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.”
Amblin posted pics of Spielberg with the film’s core cast of Ansel Elgort (who plays Tony) and Rachel Zegler (Maria) as well as Ariana DeBose (Anita) and David Alvarez (Bernardo). In another photo he is seen with Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for playing Anita in the 1961 film version of West Side Story. In the new version, Moreno plays Valentina, a new version of corner store owner Doc from the original. There also is a photo of what seems to be the Jets and the Sharks looking a little grimy right after a rumble.
Spielberg’s West Side Story is one of two adaptations of the classic musical in development, with the other an upcoming Broadway production to be directed by Ivo van Hove, produced by Scott Rudin, Barry Diller and David Geffen, with new choreography by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker. Previews are set to begin Dec. 10 at the Broadway Theatre, with an opening night of Feb. 6, 2020.