Maddie Ziegler Joins the Cast of Steven Spielberg's Remake of 'West Side Story' — as a Jet!

Ziegler, 16, has been cast as a Jet in Steven Spielberg's upcoming remake of the famous musical

Steven Spielberg has cast his next star for the upcoming remake of West Side Story.

Maddie Ziegler will play a member of the Jets, one of the rival gangs from the 1961 musical film. While it’s unclear who she’ll play in the film, it’s likely her dance talent caught Spielberg’s eye as Ziegler, 16, rose to fame on Dance Moms and has worked extensively with Sia on her music videos.

Joining the cast is Tony nominee Mike Faist who will portray Riff, the leader of the Jets, opposite Ansel Elgort who was cast as the male lead, Tony.

While 17-year-old Rachel Zegler has been cast in the lead role of Maria, Ana Isabelle, a famous Puerto Rican singer and actress, will play her friend and coworker Rosalia.

Rita Moreno, who won the Oscar for her performance in the 1961 film version, will return to the remake in the role of Valentina, a remade version of the character Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.

Maddie Ziegler
Presley Ann/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Mike Feist
Mike Feist. Walter McBride/WireImage

Several other actors have been cast as part of the ensemble including David Aviles Morales, Yesenia Ayala, María Alejandra Castillo, Annelise Cepero, Andrei Chagas, Jeanette Delgado, Kelvin Delgado, Gaby Diaz, Yurel Echezarreta, Adriel Flete, Carlos E. Gonzalez, David Guzman, Jacob Guzman, Ana Isabelle, Melody Martí, Ilda Mason, Juliette Feliciano Ortiz, Edriz E. Rosa Pérez, Maria Alexis Rodriguez, Julius Anthony Rubio, Carlos Sánchez Falú, Sebastian Serra, Gabriela Soto, Ricky Ubeda, Tanairi Vazquez, Jamila Velazquez, Isabella Ward and Ricardo Zayas.

As part of the Jets, Ziegler is joined by Brianna Abruzzo, Kyle Allen, Kyle Coffman, Ben Cook, Harrison Coll, Kevin Csolak, Kellie Drobnick, Julian Elia, Myles Erlick, Leigh-Ann Esty, Sara Esty, Mike Faist, John Michael Fiumara, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Garett Hawe, Patrick Higgins, Sean Harrison Jones, Eloise Kropp, Lauren Leach, Jess LeProtto, Skye Mattox, Ezra Menas, Adriana Pierce, Brittany Pollack, Daniel Patrick Russell, Talia Ryder, Jonalyn Saxer, Halli Toland.

Inspired by Williams Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story famously centers on the rivalry between young street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks. The 1961 film adaptation won 10 Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress for Moreno, Best Picture and Best Director.

Spielberg’s adaptation of West Side Story is set to begin filming in the summer of 2019.

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