Early 2022 Oscars contender? Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ gets first trailer

Ansel Elgort looks down at Rachel Zegler in a scene from "West Side Story."
Ansel Elgort as Tony and Rachel Zegler as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film “West Side Story.”
(Niko Tavernise / 20th Century Studios)

Tonight, tonight won’t be just any night — because the first trailer for Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” is finally here.

Disney’s 20th Century Studios unveiled its first look at the Oscar-winning director’s highly anticipated adaptation during Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast.

The classic “Romeo and Juliet” tale features Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as star-crossed lovers from dueling street gangs in 1950s New York City. Originally slated to premiere in 2020, the film was among the numerous major studio releases delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The brief, vibrant teaser sees the opposing Jets and Sharks singing, dancing, hugging and kissing through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side to the tune of the romantic duet “Somewhere.” Among Spielberg’s ensemble is screen icon Rita Moreno, who won the Oscar for supporting actress for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 adaptation of the Broadway musical. (Do you sense a theme here?)


In the 2021 iteration, Moreno plays Valentina — an elder-mentor character originally named Doc and portrayed by a man in the stage production — while “Hamilton” actress and dancer Ariana DeBose will take over as Anita.

“The Fault in Our Stars” breakout Elgort plays Tony, originated on-screen by Richard Beymer, while Zegler will succeed Natalie Wood as Maria. “West Side Story” will mark Zegler’s big-screen debut after the 19-year-old actress wowed the internet with a viral video of herself belting Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from the 2018 remake of “A Star Is Born.”

Spielberg’s take on “West Side Story” hits theaters Dec. 10.