The West Side Story Subtitles Controversy Explained

The West Side Story Subtitles Controversy Explained
20th Century Studios/YouTube

Some reacted with surprise when Steven Spielberg first announced his intention to direct a fresh film adaptation of the late Stephen Sondheim play “West Side Story.” The original 1957 stage production served as Sondheim’s introduction to the world of Broadway and, less than a month after his death, will now bookend a long and illustrious career in musical theater.

During the initial casting call in 2018, it was reported by a variety of outlets that Spielberg was seeking Spanish-speaking actors and actresses to play the roles of Maria, Anita, and Bernardo. In the 1961 version of the film, these roles were played by Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, and George Chakaris, respectively (via IMDb). In Spielberg’s upcoming version of the film, these roles will be filled by Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, and David Alvarez. Additionally, Rita Moreno will now play the role of Valentina (also per IMDb). 

With the new film’s wide release date less than two weeks away, many fans are looking forward to seeing what Spielberg has put together. The film’s premiere was held at the Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City on November 29 (via Vanity Fair) and plenty of people who got an early look at the film are already sharing their views online, including an interesting choice made for the Spanish dialogue. 

Many of the Spanish lines are not subtitled

The West Side Story Subtitles Controversy Explained
20th Century Studios/YouTube

According to a tweet from Kiara Alfonseca, a reporter for ABC News, much of the Spanish dialogue spoken by the Puerto Rican characters is not subtitled, nor is it repeated in English. Alfonseca called the choice the “most notable thing” in the film and said, “Viewing audiences as culturally nuanced makes your stories more authentic.”

Contrastingly, Andrew Strauser, the vice president of content at Magnolia Network, called the decision an “odd choice,” but also tweeted praise for the film’s direction and cast, calling both “incredible” and adding “#Oscars.” 

Spielberg’s choice to forgo subtitles for the foreign language sections of the film follows a similar choice made earlier this year for “Jungle Cruise.” In that film, a conversation between three Spanish speakers is not subtitled, nor is another scene featuring German dialogue. In an interview with Cinema Blend, “Jungle Cruise” actor Edgar Ramirez said, “We thought that doing it in Spanish and keeping the mystery of not having it subtitled would help to feel that you are completely removed and that you are invited into a journey to a world that is detached from your own world.”

While Spielberg has yet to comment on this creative choice, it will be interesting to eventually see what his reasoning was for the lack of subtitles. Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story” will be released in theaters throughout the United States on December 10.

News Related


India, Central Asia to hold summit on Jan 27, to establish secretariat for coordination

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The India Central Asia summit, which will take place once in two years, will be held on January 27 this year. The virtual ... Read more »

None can change history of Bengal, India, says Mamata; slams BJP on Netaji's birthday

© Provided by Hindustan Times West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses a gathering during an event to celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at Red ... Read more »

Armeniens Präsident Sarkissjan tritt zurück

© Keystone/PAN Photo/AP/Davit Hakobyan Armeniens Präsident Armen Sarkissjan hat überraschend seinen Rücktritt erklärt. Nach langer Überlegung habe er sich entschieden, nach etwa vier Jahren das Amt des Präsidenten der Republik ... Read more »

Long queue at corona test center in Bergen: “Count on long waiting times”

The police moved out to the corona test station at Spelhaugen in Bergen after reports of traffic problems. They warn people to prepare for long waiting times for testing. -There ... Read more »

Bradley Beal explains how creating own legacy is reason he wants to stay with Wizards

© Provided by NBC Sports There is very little, if any, Bradley Beal trade talk heading into the deadline this year, and any trade speculation is the wishful thinking variety, ... Read more »

Cowboys face many questions, including is the offense overrated?

The Dallas Cowboys season ended with a whimper this past Wild Card weekend, as they fell 23-17 in a game that didn’t feel that close. The failed quarterback-run-then-spike with time ... Read more »

ECHL Suspends Jacksonville Player Accused of Directing Racist Gesture at Opponent

Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta allegedly directed a racist gesture toward South Carolina Stingrays defenseman Jordan Subban. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports The ECHL suspended Jacksonville ... Read more »

UAE bans drones after attack on oil facility, airport

© iStock UAE bans drones after attack on oil facility, airport The United Arab Emirates has banned the flying of drones after a fatal attack on an oil facility and ... Read more »

Don Wilson, guitarist with The Ventures, dies at 88

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Don Wilson, co-founder and rhythm guitarist of the instrumental guitar band The Ventures, has died. © Provided by The Canadian Press He was 88. Wilson died ... Read more »

NFL Fines Dak Prescott $25K for Comments About Fans Throwing Trash at Refs After Cowboys Loss

© Provided by People Tom Pennington/Getty Dak Prescott Dak Prescott has been slapped with a $25,000 fine following his comments supporting fans who threw trash at NFL referees as they ... Read more »

Jimmy Garoppolo to Robbie Gould after 49ers' win: ‘F–k the Packers'

Jimmy Garoppolo calmly led a game-winning field-goal drive Saturday night at Lambeau Field, then dropped an F-bomb on the Packers on the way out. The 49ers quarterback was celebrating after ... Read more »

Packers only had 10 players on field for 49ers' game-ending field goal

The Packers’ season ended with a fitting blunder. Green Bay’s special teams woes were on full display in its 13-10 divisional-round loss to the 49ers Saturday night at Lambeau Field. ... Read more »

Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker rage over “genuinely appalling” Liverpool penalty decision

Both Alan Shearer and Gary Linker questioned the decision to award Liverpool a penalty during their 3-1 win at Selhurst Park over a Crystal Palace side that were valiant in ... Read more »

Munster's attack clicks into gear against Wasps on record-breaking day for Simon Zebo

Wasps 7 Ciarán Kennedy reports from Thomond Park THIS WAS MORE like it. Munster have often been a frustrating watch this season, but against Wasps at a bustling Thomond Park ... Read more »

Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz reveal secret star to perform at their wedding - and it's so unexpected

Brooklyn Beckham thrilled fans recently when he confirmed that he and fiancée Nicola Peltz will officially tie the knot soon – and the wedding is already setting out the be ... Read more »

PS Plus February 2022 free PS5 and PS4 games: Good news for fans awaiting PlayStation news

© SONY PlayStation Plus There’s good news for PS Plus subscribers, as Sony gets ready to reveal the free PS4 and PS5 games for February 2022. If you’re counting down ... Read more »

Billboards seeking love match for Muslim bachelor are publicity stunt

After more than 5,000 people contacted a lonely bachelor who advertised himself on billboards across Birmingham in the hope of finding a wife, many have been left disappointed after it ... Read more »

Chinese PLA confirms 'boy from Indian side' in custody

© Provided by The Times of India GUWAHATI: China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has traced a boy in their territory, who may be 17-year-old Miram Taron, reportedly captured by the ... Read more »

Armenian president resigns citing 'difficult times' for nation

© Karen Minasyan / AFP Armenian President Armen Sarkissian announced Sunday that he is resigning his largely symbolic position, citing the inability of his office to influence policy during times ... Read more »

The latest multi-million pound homes for sale in Greater Manchester that will make you want to win the lottery

Amongst the many reasons to want to win the lottery, for most of us it would be to buy our dream home. From an abundance of bedrooms and sprawling open-plan ... Read more »

Southampton prove Pep Guardiola right as 'boring' Man City claims are made to look foolish

After a 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday ended Manchester City’s 12-match winning streak in the league, Pep Guardiola repeated the message he has been giving for weeks. “I don’t ... Read more »

The warning sign in your urine of a 'life-threatening' complication

Checking the colour of your urine from time to time could provide you with a wealth of health information – such as signs of a bacterial infection, levels of hydration ... Read more »

Ros Newman obituary

My friend Ros Newman, who has died aged 82, was a sculptor who created human, animal and bird forms – mainly in steel – that were initially for domestic display ... Read more »

Kevin Clancy AXED as Rangers row referee misses out on full Scottish Premiership card

Kevin Clancy has been dropped from this week’s Scottish Premiership card after being left off the the officials list. There is a midweek list of top flight fixtures but the ... Read more »

Chukwuemeka gets 'massive shock' at Livingston after Aston Villa transfer

Aston Villa youngster Caleb Chukwuemeka made his full debut for Livingston at the weekend, as the 19-year-old gets valuable loan minutes away from Bodymoor Heath. He started in Livingston’s 1-0 ... Read more »

COVID-19: After big cities Omicron driven third wave to hit villages, says expert

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: The Omicron variant-driven wave of COVID-19 will now turn to small towns and villages in the coming few weeks after its transmission in ... Read more »

Bihar to disburse r₹r72-cr to clear backlog payment of old PRI representatives

© Provided by Hindustan Times Bihar panchayati raj minister Samrat Choudhary (HT Archives) PATNA: Bihar’s panchayati raj department is planning to ensure online monthly emolument payment to panchayati raj representatives ... Read more »

UP Polls: CM Yogi, Mayawati Lock Horns in Rare but Bitter Twitter Exchange Over Gorakhpur Monastery

© Provided by News18 UP Polls: CM Yogi, Mayawati Lock Horns in Rare but Bitter Twitter Exchange Over Gorakhpur Monastery Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath and BSP chief Mayawati ... Read more »

Mumbai Reports 2,550 New Covid Cases, Delhi Logs 9,197 Infections

© Provided by News18 Mumbai Reports 2,550 New Covid Cases, Delhi Logs 9,197 Infections Mumbai on Sunday reported 2,550 new Covid-19 cases and 13 deaths. Meanwhile, Delhi logged 9,197 new ... Read more »

Kamala building fire: Electrical audit for buildings above 5 floors likely to become mandatory

© Provided by Hindustan Times Hemant Parab, Chief Fire Officer, said the general opinion is residential societies should be asked to conduct an electrical audit. (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT PHOTO) Mumbai: The ... Read more »

Martha Stewart Broke Up with Anthony Hopkins Because She Was Worried He Might Eat Her, Hannibal Style

Happy Friday, there’s some important Martha Stewart news incoming. In case you aren’t aware, Martha used to date Anthony Hopkins back in the day, and she just casually informed everyone ... Read more »

Bihar tourism minister's son injures man

© Provided by Hindustan Times Bihar tourism minister Narayan Prasad. (HT Photo) BETTIAH: Bihar tourism minister’s son allegedly hit a 28-year-old man with the butt of a gun, thereby injuring ... Read more »

PF & ESI: Karnataka working on law to keep hawk's eye on compliances by manpower firms

The Karnataka government is working on a law to get manpower providers to honour promised wages to their workers and comply with other statutory requirements including provident fund (PF) and ... Read more »

NATO ramps up Ukraine aid. Blinken says 'choice' to invade is Putin's: Here's what we know

US, Russia try to lower temperature on Ukraine See more videos What to watch next TJ Otzelberger said there were good things within Iowa State loss at Kansas TJ Otzelberger ... Read more »

Biden: A good coach knows when to change up the team

© AP-Andrew Harnik Biden: A good coach knows when to change up the team The legend of the great Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi is as a rigid stickler: ... Read more »

Check out these five makeup must-haves for an easy everyday look

If you’re a working professional, college student or just someone who enjoys experimenting with makeup, creating an easy routine is the ultimate goal. Gone are the days when a face ... Read more »

Woman charged with hate crime for threatening and spitting on Jewish children in New York

© NYPD New York police say this woman spat on and threatened to kill a group of children outside a synagogue in Brooklyn – NYPD A woman was arrested in ... Read more »

Michael Cohen claims Trump told him Don Jr should go to jail over Ivanka

© Getty Michael Cohen has claimed that Donald Trump told him that Donald Trump Jr should go to jail over Ivanka – Getty Michael Cohen has claimed that Donald Trump ... Read more »

Man pushed onto subway tracks in Manhattan

A man was pushed onto the subway track at Fulton Street Station in Manhattan on January 23, 2022. Ed Rhodes/Loop Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images A man was pushed ... Read more »

Netizens dig out Virat Kohli's childhood pictures as they shower love on Vamika; call her 'Junior Kohli' - Read adorable tweets

© Provided by This Sunday belongs to Vamika Kohli. Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s baby girl’s face has finally been revealed to the public on national TV. Yes, the ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic