Rita Moreno, who played and won an Oscar for her work as Anita Palacio in 1961’s “West Side Story,” is returning for the upcoming Steven Spielberg-directed new film adaptation of the famed stage musical.
Moreno will take on an original role based on the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store where Tony worked. The character has been reimagined and expanded as Valentina.
Moreno says in a statement: “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”.
Moreno will be joining Ansel Elgort in the project, who has been cast as Tony, the co-founder of the Jets. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (“Lincoln”) wrote the new script based on the 1957 Broadway musical by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein.
Filming begins Summer next year.