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17-year old High School Student Lands Coveted Role in 'West Side Story' Remake

By InCinemas  /  16 Jan 2019 (Wednesday)
Remember this face because it's about to go places!

Back in October, it was announced that The Fault in Our Stars heartthrob Ansel Elgort was cast as the male lead Tony in the film adaptation of one of Broadway's most well-known musicals, West Side Story. The news only made the anticipation for the announcement of which lucky lady gets to star opposite him all the more sweeter.

Well, the wait is now over!

It has officially been announced that fresh-faced newcomer Rachel Zegler will play the role of Maria. The Columbian-American teen beat out 30,000 other auditionees from around the world to land the coveted role, though it really is no wonder when you hear what she sounds like.

Zegler, a self-proclaimed 'theatre kid', is no stranger to posting covers on YouTube.

Here she is singing this year's Golden Globe-winning song, Shallow from Bradley Cooper's A Star is Born.

Can't get enough? Here's Satisfied from the critically-acclaimed musical, Hamilton.

Or if classic musicals are more your thing, here is her rendition of On My Own from Les Miserables.

Apart from doing covers of musical numbers of old and new, Zegler has also covered songs from the likes of Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa, Queen and Lady Gaga! Visit her YouTube page here for her collection of covers to tide you over as you wait for her to make her silver screen debut.

West Side Story will be the second film adaptation of the original 1957 Broadway musical, a play set in a New York neighborhood and focused on the rivalry between two gangs. The first adaptation made in 1961 won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture. 

Rounding out the cast alongside Elgort and Zegler are Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez, playing Anita and Bernardo, respectively. Josh Andrés Rivera, a theatre performer, has been cast as Chino. Rita Moreno who won an Academy Award for her portrayal of Anita in the 1961 film version has also been cast.

The film will be directed and produced by Academy Award-winner Steven Spielberg with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner writing the screenplay. Filming is set to begin in the summer of 2019.

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