West Side Story trailer offers a glimpse at the famous gang war in long-awaited remake - Daily Mail

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West Side Story director Steven Spielberg has shared one of his behind-the-scenes traditions in a new trailer for the musical remake which has threatened to 'cancel' him following a string of political rows.

The director, 74, toasts the end of filming for the production in the preview, after critics hinted it could end his career following controversy around its representation of Latin-Americans in film.  

The film's main star Ansel Elgort, was also been hit with accusations of sexual assault by a woman named Gabby, which he denies, just months before its release in December.

Tradition: West Side Story director Steven Spielberg has shared one of his behind-the-scenes traditions in a new trailer for the musical remake which has threatens to 'cancel' him following a string of political rows

In the clip, Steven reveals: 'This is a tradition on all of our movies, where we toast the first shot and we toast the last shot,' as he's seen raising a glass to his cast and crew on the last day of production.

The clip also shows Steven analysing footage through the monitor, before adding: 'And I just want to say that we have actually been in production on this for months.'

'But now, to actually bring all those elements together as one voice into an ensemble, I'm just so proud and honored that I got this shot, this late in my career, of being able to tell this story, based on the 1957 Broadway musical,' Spielberg says.

Ahead of the film's release, many commentators have warned that Steven's decision to direct the remake could spark the end of his career, after a perfect storm of sexual assualt accusations and 'woke' fans questioning the film's racial inclusivity.

'The original West Side Story film is as close to a sacred cow as movie musicals get,' wrote EntertainmentWeekly magazine, with Susan Haskins, host of American TV show Theater Talk, stating: 'Leave it alone, Steven Spielberg,' before branding the film a 'terrible idea.'

At a New York charity screening of the original West Side Story film, the audience booed when a remake was mentioned.

Despite the controversy, Steven previously said he's vowed to make a faithful adaptation, which won't be marred by claims of 'whitewashing' which have dogged the 1961 film over the years, after many of its Puerto Rican characters, including star Natalie Wood, were played by white actors in dark makeup.

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,' he told Vanity Fair

He also said he's aiming to highlight the 'battle against the obstacles of xenophobia and racial prejudice' - in a time when American is still struggling with the aftermath of former President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant agenda. 

Steven also previously said he only hired Hispanic actors to play the roles of the immigrants in the film, to ensure the film is politically correct.   

'They brought an authenticity,' he said, after employing a dialect coach to perfect their accents. 'They brought themselves, and everything they believe and everything about them - they brought that to the work.'

After the trailer features Steven's word on the film, it then cuts to finished footage where Maria Vasquez (newcomer Rachel Zegler) tells her brother Bernardo (David Alvarez), 'I want to be happy here. I want to make a life, a home.'

But Bernardo, the leader of the gang of Puerto Rico natives known as The Sharks, tells her, 'Stay away from him,' the him being Tony (Ansel Elgort), part of the Sharks' rival gang of white men known as the Jets.

Cominc soon: The clip also gave fans another glimpse of the much-anticipated remake, which focuses on two rivalling gangs in 1950s New York 

Hard at work: The clip also shows Steven analysing footage through the monitor, before adding: 'And I just want to say that we have actually been in production on this for months'

Proud: He says: 'But now, to actually bring all those elements together as one voice into an ensemble, I'm just so proud and honored that I got this shot, this late in my career'

Elements: In the clip, Spielberg reveals he and the crew always toast the first and the final day of production on each of his films

Siblings: The clip also shows footage from the film, where Maria Vasquez (newcomer Rachel Zegler) tells her brother Bernardo (David Alvarez) about her desperate want for freedom

Stay away: But Bernardo, the leader of the gang of Puerto Rico natives known as The Sharks, tells her, 'Stay away from him,' the him being Tony (Ansel Elgort), part of the Sharks' rival gang

Defiant: Maria fights back and proclaims, 'I'm gonna think for myself,' before rushing to the fire escape, where she later finds Tony, who says, 'Run away with me'

Maria fights back and proclaims, 'I'm gonna think for myself,' before rushing to the fire escape, where she later finds Tony, who says, 'Run away with me.'  

Another shot shows Tony chatting with Valentina (Rita Moreno), who offers him some advice, stating, 'You don't want to start with, 'I'd like to take you out for coffee.''

The video ends with a number of shots that showcase the musical number America before the video comes to an end.

Tony and Valentina: Another clip from the film shows Tony chatting with Valentina (played by original West Side Story star Rita Moreno), who offers him some advice on his love life

America: The video ends with a number of shots that showcase the iconic number America, which sees Anita reflect on moving to the US from Puerto Rico

The story first debuted as a Broadway musical in 1957, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Steven Sondheim, loosely inspired by Romeo and Juliet.

The musical was nominated for six Tony Awards and ran for 732 performances before embarking on a tour.

The musical was adapted for the silver screen in 1961, starring Natalie Wood as Maria, Richard Beymer as Tony, George Chakaris as Bernardo, Russs Tamblyn as Riff and Rita Moreno as Anita.  

Story: West Side Story first debuted as a Broadway musical in 1957, with a book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Steven Sondheim, loosely inspired by Romeo and Juliet

Adapted: The musical was adapted for the silver screen in 1961, starring Natalie Wood as Maria, and Richard Beymer as Tony (the 2021 remake is pictured)

The film was a commercial and critical hit, winning 10 Oscar awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Chakaris) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rita Moreno).

This new adaptation also stars Corey Stoll as Lieutenant Schrank, Mike Faist as Riff, Ariana DeBose as Anita and Maddie Ziegler as Velma.

West Side Story will hit theaters December 10, going up against Amazon's Being the Ricardos in limited release. 

Back in July 2020, a woman named Gabby came forward and claimed she had a relationship with Ansel Elgort in 2014 and he sexually assaulted her, when she was just 17 and he was 20.

Elgort, who is now 27, admitted that he did have a relationship with Gabby, but denied the allegation that he sexually assaulted her.

'I cannot claim to understand Gabby's feelings but her description of events is simply not what happened. I have never and would never assault anyone,' he stated.

Big hit: The film was a huge hit, winning 10 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (George Chakaris) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Rita Moreno)

He added that they had, 'a brief, legal, and entirely consensual relationship. Unfortunately, I did not handle the breakup well. I stopped responding to her, which is an immature and cruel thing to do to someone. I know this belated apology does not absolve me of my unacceptable behavior when I disappeared.'

'As I look back at my attitude, I am disgusted and deeply ashamed of the way I acted. I am truly sorry. I know I must continue to reflect, learn, and work to grow in empathy,' he added.

Gabby added that they both first spoke just two days before her 17th birthday, adding that he was aware of her age when they first spoke.

She also claimed that during a sexual encounter she was left 'sobbing in pain' adding that he made cruel and inappropriate remarks.

Gabby also wrote, 'I have PTSD. I have panic attacks. I go to therapy' in a Twitter post, though she later deleted it from social media.

In theaters: West Side Story will hit theaters December 10, going up against Amazon's Being the Ricardos in limited release

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