Jan 16, 2019 03:38 PM EST

Steven Spielberg's West Side Story Has Been Cast

Steven Spielberg's West Side Story Has Been Cast
Steven Spielberg's remake of the classic love story West Side Story has now been cast and includes a 17-year old newcomer, Rachel Zegler, as Maria. 

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. I'm so happy that we've assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America's multifaceted Hispanic community. I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they'll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that's more relevant than ever", said Spielberg.

"I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast. West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community", said Zegler.

The cast also includes veteran actress Rita Moreno, who starred in the 1961 film as Anita. In this version, she will play a version of the character Doc, who owns the store Tony works in. Playing the new Anita will be Tony Award nominated actress Ariana DeBose.

Tony will be played by Ansel Elgort (Divergent, The Fault in Our Stars), Bernando will be played by Tony Award winner David Alverez and Chino will be played by Josh Andrés Rivera.

Spielberg will produce and direct the film which was written by  Oscar-nominated screenwriter and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner.

Filming is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2019.
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