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Newcomer Rachel Zegler to Play Maria in West Side Story Remake
16 January 2019, 01:18 | Ivan Casey
CREDIT Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
"I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this incredible cast", said Zegler, who will star opposite Ansel Elgort as Tony, Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Josh Andrés Rivera as Chino and Rita Moreno (Anita in the 1961 film) as Valentina: a re-conceived and expanded version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony works.
Filming for West Side Story will begin this summer, and until then we'll be counting the days until we get Rachel singing "I Have a Love".
"I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this unbelievable cast", Zegler said in a statement to Deadline.
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The self-described "theatre kid" has more than 83,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, where she posts videos singing today's hits, Broadway favorites and throwback songs from bands like Queen.
But Zegler isn't the only new addition to the West Side Story cast.
Added Zegler: "I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this incredible cast".
"As a colombian-american woman growing up in this day and age, strong roles like maria are so important.to be able to bring that role to life- a role that means so much to the hispanic community- is so humbling. i hope you're all as excited as i am".
It's not just any film, either - the upcoming adaptation is being helmed by none other than Steven Spielberg, who put out an open casting call for Latinx actors past year. Tony Kushner (Munich, Lincoln) is writing the screenplay, which is being adapted from the original 1957 Broadway musical.
Other people set to star in the film include Billy Elliot'sDavid Alvarez as Bernardo and Josh Rivera as the character Chino. Moreno won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 film version of "West Side Story".
The role of Maria was originally played by Hollywood star Natalie Wood.
With music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, the movie won ten Oscars, including Best Picture.
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