'West Side Story' Ups the Ante in New 30-Second Promo | Playbill

News 'West Side Story' Ups the Ante in New 30-Second Promo
 
The Steven Spielberg-directed film premieres December 10 in theatres.

"Do you want to start a World War III?" Anita asks Tony in the just-released new teaser for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story, which will hit theatres December 10.

After multiple delays due to COVID (creatives have insisted that this film be a cinematic experience that audiences can safely enjoy in theatres), the West Side Story team has had plenty of time to doll out new content, and the gifts keep coming. In this slick new 30-second teaser, various characters get ready for a big brawl: Maria tells Tony she's scared, police plan to block off the West Side, Riff asks Tony to stand with him, and Anita smells blood.

While the initial full trailer leaned into the romance of the story, this new video teases out the drama and violence that are also inherent to this timeless tale based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

The original, 1961 film adaptation of the Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim musical West Side Story won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. With a starry cast and Spielberg at the helm, this new version—which comes out during the peak season for Oscar contenders—is vying for a similar prestige. Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler star as iconic lovers Tony and María, with Broadway's Ariana DeBose (Hamilton, Motown and a Tony Award nominee for Donna: The Donna Summer Musical) portraying Anita, played by Rita Moreno in the 1961 film. Moreno makes a cameo in a new role in this film version, which also stars Tony nominee Mike Faist (Dear Evan Hansen) as Riff, Tony Award winner David Alvarez (Billy Elliott) as Bernardo, and three-time Tony nominee Brian d'Arcy James (Sweet Smell of Success, Shrek the Musical, Something Rottten!) as Police Sergeant Krupke.

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