'West Side Story' Movie Casts High School Student Rachel Zegler as Maria!

'West Side Story' Movie Casts High School Student Rachel Zegler as Maria!

Congrats to Rachel Zegler!

The 17-year-old high school student beat our over 30,000 others for the lead role in Steven Spielberg‘s upcoming West Side Story!

Rachel will star as Maria opposite Ansel Elgort in the role of Tony. <

Broadway veterans Ariana DeBose and David Alvarez will star as Anita and Bernado, members of the Sharks. You may recognize Ariana from Hamilton and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and you may recognize David from his work in Billy Elliot.

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,” Rachel, 17, said in a statement to Deadline. She submitted for the role after seeing the casting notice on Twitter. “West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character. As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.”

“I’m honored to follow in the footsteps of the remarkable women who have played Anita – including Chita Rivera and, of course, the incomparable Rita Moreno,” Ariana added in a statement. “I relate so strongly to Anita – a strong Puerto Rican woman who came to New York in search of opportunity – and I feel so fortunate for the chance to work with this amazing cast and creative team.”

Filming will reportedly begin this summer. The Leonard Bernstein musical was previously made into a movie in 1961 and has been on Broadway several times over the past decades.

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Photos: Getty
Posted to: Casting, Rachel Zegler, West Side Story