The 86-year-old EGOT-winner played scene-stealing, vivacious Anita in the 1961 Oscar-winning musical. In Spielberg's remake, she'll play Valentina, a new version of the character of Doc, the owner of the corner store in which Tony (male lead Ansel Elgort) works.
"Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work," said Moreno. "And to be asked by Steven Spielberg to participate is simply thrilling! Then to work together with the brilliant playwright, Tony Kushner – what a glorious stew! I am tingling!"
"From our earliest discussions, we wanted to include Rita Moreno in our production,” Spielberg said. "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."
Moreno is one of 15 people to earn a coveted EGOT, having, having won two Emmys, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. She currently stars in "One Day at a Time" on Netflix.
Filming for "West Side Story" is set to begin in the summer of 2019.