10/3/2013 Los Angeles, CA TNT Rita Moreno 2014 SAG Life Achievement Award recipient Photo: Mark Hill

Rita Moreno continues to shake up the entertainment world more than fifty years after her Oscar win. Moreno has long been considered a legend and is one of the multifaceted performers to bring home the unofficial EGOT. She’s also been a pop culture icon for decades, from her roles in musicals to her performance on “One Day at a Time” on Netflix. Moreno is a star, and seems unlikely to slow down anytime soon. That makes her role in the upcoming Steven Spielberg directed “West Side Story” remake a very interesting proposition.

According to Variety, Moreno has joined the cast of the Spielberg directed remake of the classic musical. This is especially noteworthy because Moreno won an Oscar for playing Anita in the 1961 film adaptation. In the Spielberg version, she will play Valentina. If the name doesn’t sound familiar to you, it is because Spielberg’s version looks to shake things up a bit. Valentina will be a new twist on the Doc character, the owner of the store where Tony works. Moreno will also serve as an executive producer for the new film.

Spielberg had this to say about adding Moreno to the cast.

“From our earliest discussions, we wanted to include Rita Moreno in our production. Her Anita is one of the greatest musical performances ever filmed, and a personal favorite of mine. We created an original role for her, and we feel beyond fortunate that Rita will bring her extraordinary gifts as an actress, as well as her deep understanding of ‘West Side Story’ to this production as an executive producer.”

With Spielberg, Kushner, and now Moreno heading the project, the new “West Side Story” is gaining steam. While some have questioned its purpose in 2018, it has been more than fifty years since the last time it was put on film. It will be curious to see if the group has more changes or adaptations to come. Keep an eye out for more news as it releases.

What do you think of Moreno returning to “West Side Story?” What about the introduction of a new character?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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