Steven Spielberg wraps production on 'West Side Story'

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg (File Photo)

Filmmaker Steven Spielberg has wrapped shooting for "West Side Story", which he has described as a "journey without precedence".

The movie, an adaptation of the classic Broadway production, explores love and fight between rival gangs the Jets and the Sharks in 1957 New York.

It features Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Rita Moreno, the star of 1961 original film adaptation.

The studio, 20th Century Fox, shared Spielberg's photos with the film's cast and the crew on Twitter, including one with Moreno.

Accompanied with the photos was a letter that the veteran filmmaker penned on the occasion.

"We've just concluded filming our version of 'West Side Story'. This has been a journey without precedence: a joyful, stunningly moving, endlessly surprising encounter with the story and score of one of the world's greatest musicals.

"My brilliantly talented, fiercely committed, generous and apparently inexhaustible cast and crew of hundreds have given our film everything they've got, and already I can say that the film we'll be releasing on December 18, 2020 owes everything to them, as does its immensely grateful director," Spielberg wrote in the letter.

The 72-year-old director also expressed gratitude to Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim, who were the brains behind the original Broadway production.

"For the light they've shed on the world, for Stephen Sondheim's insight, guidance, and support, and for the openhearted support of the Bernstein, Laurents, and Robbins estates, I owe more than I can possibly express," he said.

Spielberg also gave a shout out to the residents of New York City for lending the team "its beauty and its energy".

"Thanks not only for putting up with our trailers, tents, cranes and mid-street dance sequences; from the bottom of my heart, thanks for the warm welcome we encountered everywhere, from pedestrians and policemen and neighborhoods and kids. We couldn't have made our musical without you," he concluded.

The film, which also features Ariana DeBose, Corey Stoll and Brian d'Arcy James, has a release date of December 18, 2020. 

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