Published: Wed, January 16, 2019
Entertaiment | By Simon Arnold

David Alvarez, Ariana DeBose and More Join Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY

David Alvarez, Ariana DeBose and More Join Spielberg's WEST SIDE STORY

The student will star alongside Ansel Elgort, who is in the role of Tony in the movie that is bound to be take all our money in tickets.

Newcomer Rachel Zegler will be playing Maria in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake, TheWrap has confirmed.

Broadway legend Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the 1961 film, will have a role in the new movie as Valentina, the re-imagined version of the character Doc. Doc is the owner of the store where Tony works.

"West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character", Zegler continued.

'I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this awesome cast, ' Rachel said in a statement to Deadline.

Zegler has been posting her covers of her favourite songs on YouTube for the past few years, amassing more than 84,000 subscribers.

On Tuesday, Zegler wrote on Twitter that she "could say so many things" in regards to the announcement "but all I can muster is thank you". "As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community".

Zegler, 17, will star as the Puerto Rican girl who falls in love with white New Yorker Tony in the Romeo and Juliet-inspired musical with music by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. Moreno previously won an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 film version of the musical.

This is her back in 2015 singing "The Wizard and I" from Wicked and yes it was filmed on a phone vertically but you won't care when she hits that key change!

Speaking about landing the role Rachel said she is thrilled to be playing the iconic role.

In addition to Zegler, the film has also added three Broadway heavy hitters to the Sharks side of the cast, with Tony Award victor David Alvarez set to play Bernardo, Tony nominee Ariana DeBose playing Anita, and former Hamilton cast member Josh Andres Rivera on board as Chino.

17-year-old Rachel Zegler has been cast as Maria.

Filming for "West Side Story" is set to begin in the summer of 2019.

Spielberg's adaptation of the film is set to start production this summer.

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