‘West Side Story’ Remake Casts Newcomer as Maria

‘West Side Story’ Remake Casts Newcomer as Maria”

Cape Town - Steven Spielberg has cast his Maria for the remake of West Side Story.

The 72-year-old ET director is helming the modern adaption of the classic musical, and felt New Jersey student Rachel Zegler would make a flawless Maria, once made famous by late screen siren Natalie Wood in the 1961 original.

Spielberg has also cast Broadway actress Ariana DeBose as Anita and David Alvarez as Bernardo.

The director previously told The Hollywood Reporter: 'When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors. "As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community".

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

A school student has reportedly seen off competition from more than 30,000 hopefuls to land a starring role in Steven Spielberg's film remake of West Side Story.

Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 movie, will play Valentina in the upcoming reboot.

She answered an open casting call for West Side Story, with a video in which she sang Tonight and Me Siento Hermosa from the musical. Even his co-star Rita Moreno, who is Puerto Rican, was made up in shades darker than her actual skin tone.

The self-described "theatre kid" has more than 83,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she posts videos singing today's hits, Broadway favorites and throwback songs from bands like Queen.

17-year-old Rachel Zegler has been cast as Maria. Maria ends up falling in love with Tony, a member of her brother's rival gang, and since the musical is based on William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, you can probably figure out how this thing ends. "I have dreamt of playing this part since I first saw the original film, and I am so grateful for the chance to bring my own perspective and journey to this role - as an artist, a Veteran and a Latino - and to work with this incredible cast to breathe new life into these characters' experiences". Natalie Wood played the role of Maria in the movie.

The new West Side Story film does not have a release date, but filming is due to begin from the middle of this year.

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