West Side Story adds over 40 performers for its Sharks/Jets chorus
According to Deadline, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake has cast over 40 performers to portray the Sharks and Jets, the rival gangs at the center of the story. Among those cast will be Broadway star Mike Faist, who has starred in such productions as Dear Evan Hansen and Newsies; and Ana Isabelle, who will play Rosalia, a friend of Maria, who is played by Rachel Zegler. Maddie Ziegler has also been cast in the musical, and will reportedly play one of the Jets.
The trio join an already enormous cast that includes Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), Rita Moreno (TV’s Carmen San Diego), Ariana DeBose (Seaside), David Alvarez, Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino), Corey Stoll (Ant-Man), and Brian dʼArcy James (First Man).
West Side Story is largely based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and features a star-crossed romance between Tony and Maria. While Tony is closely tied to the Jets, Maria’s brother, Bernardo, is the leader of the Sharks. When the story begins, the tensions between the rival Jets and Sharks gangs led each side to the brink of war. Tony and Maria’s courtship helped push that conflict over the edge.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Lincoln) wrote the new script for the West Side Story remake, an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical, which was written by Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim. Leonard Bernstein created the music for the show, which went on to earn six Tony nominations. The feature film adaptation was helmed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins on its way to 10 Academy Awards.
Spielberg, Kevin McCollum, and Kristie Macosko Krieger will produce the film musical, which will be released by Twentieth Century Fox. Moreno will also executive produce. The feature is expected to begin filming this summer.