Steven Spielberg has wrapped filming on his remake of West Side Story

By Alexia Fernandez
October 02, 2019 05:37 PM

Steven Spielberg has wrapped filming his remake of West Side Story and he’s sharing a few behind the scenes photos of his star-studded cast.

The Oscar-winning director, 72, posed with Rita Moreno, Ansel Elgort and newcomers Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez.

Elgort, 25, and Zegler, 17, play the main characters Tony and Maria, who fall in love only to be pulled apart by their warring groups of friends.

Moreno, who won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1962 for her portrayal of Anita in the original film, also stars in the remake as a new character, Valentina, a reimagined and expanded version of the character Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.

Spielberg shared a series of photos of himself with the cast and also posted a sweet note thanking everyone involved in the film — including the residents of New York City.

“It’s 12:10AM, September 28, 2019, at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yards in the great city of New York, and we’ve just concluded filming our version of West Side Story,” Spielberg wrote. “This has been a journey without precedence: a joyful, stunningly moving, endlessly surprising encounter with the story and score of one of the world’s greatest musicals.”

He continued, “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.”

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Spielberg also paid tribute to the creators of West Side Story, writing, “I and my team, cast and crew have been walking in the footsteps of four giants: Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim. For the light they’ve shed on the world, for Stephen Sondheim’s insight, guidance and support, and for the openhearted support of the Bernstein, Laurents and Robbins estates, I owe more than I can possibly express.”

Steven Spielberg
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 05: Director Steven Spielberg attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 5, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The renowned director also thanked New York City for “its beauty and its energy.”

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“We drew deeply upon its grand, multicultural, multifaceted spirit. In addition, we spent three extraordinary weeks filming in Paterson, New Jersey,” Spielberg wrote. “To the people of New York and Paterson, thanks not only for putting up with our trailers, tents, cranes and mid-street dance sequences; from the bottom of my heart, thanks for the warm welcome we encountered everywhere, from pedestrians and policemen and neighborhoods and kids. We couldn’t have made our musical without you.”

West Side Story hits theaters in December 2020.

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