Rita Moreno Joining Steven Spielberg's ‘West Side Story’ Remake

Rita Moreno
Earl Gibson III/FilmMagic

Rita Moreno is returning to West Side Story!

The 86-year-old actress, who won an Academy Award for her performance of Anita in the 1961 film, has been asked by Steven Spielberg to join his forthcoming adaptation, Moreno's rep confirms to ET.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I see myself revisiting this seminal work,” she told Deadline. “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!”

She will be playing Valentina, a newly created character that expands upon Doc, the owner of the store where Tony works.

The actress previously spoke with ET about the prospect of somehow playing a part in the new film, at the time convinced it was simply impossible.

"There are no [older] women in this movie, so it's a moot question," she said in February. "You hear Maria's mother calling her -- I could do that!"

It appears as though Spielberg and his team have handily solved that problem. She also openly speculated about how it might differ from the film that made her a star.

"If it's going to be a contemporary version, then I would imagine that (the music) has to be rap," Moreno said, nodding to musicals like Hamilton. "And if there is that, what happens to the songs? What are the dances going to look like? Are we not going to have the (West Side Story choreographer) Jerome Robbins dances? I'm just guessing that it'll be really, completely different."

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