Rita Moreno joins cast Steven Spielberg's West Side Story reboot

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 28 November 2018
Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno is set to join the reboot of Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story', playing Valentina, a re-conceived version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store

Rita Moreno is joining the cast of Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story' reboot.

The 86-year old actress played the role of Anita in the original 1961 film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical and will now return to the iconic story playing Valentina, a re-conceived version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which lead male role Tony works.

The original movie was written by award-winning playwright Tony Kushner and the star has admitted that she is "tingling" at the chance to work once again with Tony and director Steven.

She said: "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!"

In the original movie, Rita's character Anita Palacio is the girlfriend of Bernardo who is the head of the Puerto Rican gang the Sharks, however, Bernardo's younger sister Maria, who is also a best friend of Anita, falls for Tony, who is the co-founder of white gang the Jets.

Steven revealed that from his "earliest discussions" he had the actress in mind and thinks she gave one of the "greatest musical performances ever filmed".

He said: "From our earliest discussions, we wanted to include Rita Moreno in our production, her Anita is one of the greatest musical performances ever filmed, and a personal favorite of mine.

"We created an original role for her, and we feel beyond fortunate that Rita will bring her extraordinary gifts as an actress, as well as her deep understanding of 'West Side Story' to this production as an executive producer."

Steven, Kevin McCollum, and Kristie Macosko Krieger are set to produce the movie and filming will begin in the summer of 2019.

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