Rita Moreno Will Return to WEST SIDE STORY for Steven Spielberg Reboot
Rita Moreno, who famously played Anita in the original 1962 film version of West Side Story, will return for Steven Spielberg's upcoming adaptation. Moreno will play Valentina, a reconceived version of Doc. She will also serve as an Executive Producer.
She told Deadline: "Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work. And to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling! Then to work together with the brilliant playwright, Tony Kushner - what a glorious stew! I am tingling!"
As BroadwayWorld previously reported, Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver, The Fault In Our Stars) has been cast in the leading role of Tony. Elgort will be stepping into the iconic role originated by Larry Kert on Broadway and embodied by Richard Beymer in the classic film.
Moreno received a KENNEDY Center Honor for her lifetime contributions to American Culture in 2015. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Obama in 2010 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2004. Ms. Moreno's countless credits span more than six decades, beginning with her Broadway debut at age 13. Ms. Moreno has starred on Broadway; London's West End; appeared in more than 40 feature films and countless television shows; has performed in numerous regional theaters, and in her one woman show, Life Without Makeup, at the Berkeley Rep.
The 1961 musical drama film WEST SIDE STORY was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. It starred Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris.
Released on October 18, 1961 through United Artists, the film became the second highest grossing film of the year in the United States and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), BECOMING the record holder for the most wins for a movie musical.