Is the new ‘West Side Story’ movie a flop? What about its cast?
A new West Side Story film is coming out in December, and we’re ready to see whether it holds up to the original adaptations. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie is more of a translation of the 1950s musical than the 1960s film. It wrapped up shooting in 2019 but was delayed because of the coronavirus. But now, finally, it will be shown to the world.
This movie boasts a cast of newcomers, all-stars, and plenty of people in between. Let’s take a closer look at just two of its actors, and see what this means for the upcoming film.
Rachel Zegler: The newbie
Rachel Zegler, an actress from the state of New Jersey, plays Maria Vasquez in this adaptation of West Side Story. She has quite an interesting history, so strap in.
Born in 2001, Zegler grew up attending various Catholic educational institutions. During her teenage years, she starred in many musicals hosted by her high school, and was even nominated for a Metro Award four years in a row!
Her big break came in early 2018 when Steven Spielberg held an open casting call for West Side Story. At the time, Zegler was only sixteen, but she still auditioned for the part, filming two videos of herself singing songs from the musical. Over thirty thousand others also tried out for the role of Maria, but she managed to beat them all for the part!
Since then, she has also been cast in the Shazam! sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, and as the lead in Disney’s remake of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. She also produces videos for YouTube (making song covers, original tunes, and vlogs) and currently boasts over 200,000 subscribers!
It’s safe to say that the actress playing Maria is doing pretty well, and her journey has truly just begun after joining the West Side Story cast. But what about the film’s other lead?
Ansel Elgort: The seasoned pro
Ansel Elgort, who’s cast as Tony in the new West Side Story, has quite a different origin story. Unlike Zegler, who got her big break from this new Spielberg film, Elgort has been acting for quite a while. He got his start in 2013’s Carrie remake, where he played Tommy Ross, and went on to star in the Divergent film series, acting as the character Caleb Prior.
But his big break came a year after Carrie, where he played Augustus Waters in the movie version of John Green’s bestselling book, The Fault in Our Stars. From there, his fame only grew (he was even in another John Green film adaptation, Paper Towns) and he went on to star in Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, acting as the titular character Baby (also known as Miles).
After that, Elgort went on to play the lead in a number of other movies (most notably 2018’s sci-fi drama Jonathan and 2019’s The Goldfinch), and his latest casting in West Side Story seems to be continuing that trend.
Will it flop or not?
Two leads with very different claims to fame have come together in Spielberg’s new film. Perhaps this movie will be a flop, or perhaps not; it’s too early to tell at this point. But no matter what happens for this new production, it has certainly been a success for these two actors at least.
Are you going to see the new West Side Story adaptation? What are your thoughts on it based on the trailer? Are you a fan of Rachel Zegler and/or Ansel Elgort, and what do you think of their work? Let us know in the comments!