Why West Side Story’s Trailer Is Hiding So Many Major Elements

The trailer for Steven Spielberg’s upcoming adaption of West Side Story has actually mixed a great deal of expectancy for the movie, although the expectancy is created even more by what the trailer is concealing than what is revealed. Those that have actually seen the initial flick will certainly currently understand the Romeo-as well as-Juliet story of Maria, a teen immigrant from Puerto Rico, as well as Tony, a white birthed in New York City where the tale is established, that drop in love as stress climb in between 2 gangs run by Maria’s bro, Bernardo, as well as Tony’s friend Riff. Stephen Spielberg’s adjustment has actually been long-awaited, as well as the trailer has actually been consulted with much enjoyment.

The trailer opens up with a close-up of Maria, represented by beginner Rachel Zegler, vocal singing a number of lines from the tune ‘Tonight’. This is adhered to by a collection of clips revealing Maria preparing to head to a dancing, a number of gangs challenging versus each other as Tony (Ansel Elgort) is examined by his friend Riff (Mike Faist) regarding his commitment, as well as Maria conference as well as talking with Tony at the dancing among various other short looks of the movie. All of this is highlighted by an instrumental plan of ‘Tonight’, finishing with Maria once again singing a fast bit of the tune.

Since West Side Story is a extremely popular as well as well-beloved musical, it seems very strange that the West Side Story trailer features only a single song from the show. Usually, ‘Tonight’ is a duet between Tony as well as Maria, so it is interesting that the trailer only features Zegler singing (albeit not a part of the song that provides much of an idea of her vocal range) and not Elgort as well. Elgort seems to be extremely much in the background of the trailer, as more of the action in the trailer seems to be focused on Maria. The trailer also doesn’t feature any choreography, a key reason for the acclaim of the Broadway show and the original film adaptation.

The reason for Elgort’s passive role in the trailer might be due to the sexual assault allegations that came out against him in the middle of last year. Although Elgort denied the allegations and no legal action was taken, it seems that perhaps the marketing for the musical film adaptation will place more focus on Zegler’s role as Maria in order to avoid negative press. It is also possible that marketing is being designed around Zegler anyway, since Spielberg has taken care to cast a Latina actress as Maria who was infamously played by white actress Natalie Wood in the 1961 film. Also in contrast to Wood, Zegler will perform the musical numbers using her own voice; Wood’s singing was dubbed by another performer.

But even though the trailer lends more focus to Zegler’s performance, her singing voice is largely untapped by what is shown along with most of the other musical aspects of the film. This could perhaps be a strategy Stephen Spielberg is using to avoid early comparisons to the original film version of West Side Story, since that version of the film is considered by many to be a classic and is popular for the rigorous choreography of its music numbers. Many who enjoyed the original film will no doubt be highly skeptical about Spielberg’s version and will compare the musical performances to those of the original. If more music were included in the trailer, people who may not like it would possibly choose not to see the movie, which Disney has scheduled for a theaters-only release.

The critical success of Spielberg’s adaptation will largely hinge on the musical performances, so the director appears to be holding these for the theatrical experience. Spielberg seems to have an awareness of what audiences are most anticipating as this trailer feels similar to the original trailer for Jurassic Park, which has many clips that withhold the viewer from getting a clear look at any of the dinosaurs.   The West Side Story trailer does the same thing, drawing the audience in by hiding the thing that people are most wanting to see.

The official trailer for West Side Story has been released. Directed by iconic filmmaker Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Tony Kushner, the movie reimagines the beloved musical that tells the classic tale of fierce rivalries and young love in 1957 New York City. This new adaptation is set to be released in theaters in December, and you can check out the official trailer below.

This reimagining of the beloved musical stars Ansel Elgort (Tony); Rachel Zegler (María); Ariana DeBose (Anita); David Alvarez (Bernardo); Mike Faist (Riff); Josh Andrés Rivera (Chino); Ana Isabelle (Rosalía); Corey Stoll (Lieutenant Schrank); Brian d'Arcy James (Officer Krupke); and Rita Moreno (as Valentina, who owns the corner store in which Tony works). Moreno – one of just three artists to be honored with Academy, Emmy, GRAMMY, Tony, and Peabody Awards – will also be executive producing.

“This story is not only a product of its time, but that time has returned, and it's returned with a kind of social fury,” Spielberg previously told Vanity Fair. “I really wanted to tell that Puerto Rican, Nuyorican experience of basically the migration to this country and the struggle to make a living, and to have children, and to battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice.”

He added: “[The cast] brought an authenticity. They brought themselves, and everything they believe and everything about them – they brought that to the work. And there was so much interaction between the cast wanting to be able to commit to the Puerto Rican experience. They all represent, I think, a diversity, both within the Puerto Rican, Nuyorican community as well as the broader Latinx community. And they took that seriously.”

“Every Juliet-based character is pure and innocent. She's the Virgin Mary, and she can do no wrong. But in reality she's 18. She's discovering so much about herself and the way she thinks about the world,” Zegler said of her character, via Town & Country. “What does it mean to be an 18-year-old discovering all of these things about herself in 2019 – or in 1957, which is when West Side Story takes place? There are layers of being an immigrant: How long has she been here? How long does she plan to stay? She plans to stay forever. Does Bernardo want her here?”

Bringing together the best of both Broadway and Hollywood, the film's creative team includes Kushner, who also serves as an executive producer; Tony Award winner Justin Peck, who choreographed the musical numbers in the film; renowned Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor and GRAMMY Award winner Gustavo Dudamel, who helmed the recording of the iconic score; Academy Award-nominated composer and conductor David Newman (Anastasia), who arranged the score; Tony Award-winning composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Thoroughly Modern Millie), who supervised the cast on vocals; and Grammy-nominated music supervisor Matt Sullivan (Beauty and the Beast, Chicago), who served as executive music producer for the film.

West Side Story is produced by Steven Spielberg, Academy Award-nominated producer Kristie Macosko Krieger and Tony Award-winning producer Kevin McCollum. West Side Story has been adapted for the screen from the original 1957 Broadway program, with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim as well as concept, direction as well as choreography by Jerome Robbins.

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