Steven Spielberg's version of "West Side Story" just finished filming, and the filmmaker is treating fans to some behind-the-scenes snaps to celebrate.
"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," he wrote in his letter.
"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," he continued.
The film stars a slew of notable dancers and actors, including Ansel Elgort, Rita Moreno and high school student and actress Rachel Zegler among many other talented performers.
Spielberg also honored the musical's original creators in his note. "On every day of the past four years during which we’ve been preparing, casting, imagining 'West Side Story,' I and my team, cast and crew have been walking in the footsteps of four giants: Leonard Bernstein, Arthur Laurents, Jerome Robbins and Stephen Sondheim," he wrote.
"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 added.
He concluded the note by commenting on the greatness of New York.
"We’ve filmed 'West Side Story' all over New York, from Flatbush to Fort Tryon Park," he wrote. "The city lent us its beauty and its energy, and we drew deeply upon its grand, multicultural, multifaceted spirit. In addition, we spent three extraordinary weeks filming in Paterson, New Jersey."
Spielberg thanked residents for "putting up with our trailers, tents, cranes, and mid-street dance sequences."
He also wrote that he was appreciative for the "warm welcomes we encountered everywhere, from pedestrians and policemen and neighborhoods and kids."
"We couldn’t have made our musical without you," he wrote.