Tag Archives: Remake

Rachel Zegler: 5 Things To Know About Unknown NJ Student Cast As Maria In ‘West Side Story’ Remake

Author: Ali Stagnitta
This post originally appeared on Hollywood Life

We are so ready for Rachel Zegler, an unknown high school student from New Jersey, to take on the role of Maria in Steven Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ remake!

The first glimpse of Steven Spielberg’s version of West Side Story dropped on Apr. 25, giving viewers a taste of what the remake will bring when it arrives (presumably in theatres) in December. It also gave the first look at newcomer Rachel Zegler as this big-screen adaptation’s Maria. The New Jersey native was just 17-years-old when she landed the role in 2019, beating out tens of thousands of other applicants for the chance to star opposite Ansel Elgort, David Alvarez, Ariana DeBose, and Rita Moreno (who won the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in the 1961 film adaptation.) The honor was not lost on her.

“I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast. West Side Story was the first musical I encountered with a Latina lead character,” Rachel said upon her casting, per Variety. “As a Colombian-American, I am humbled by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community.” As viewers start to decide if they’re either a Jet or a Shark, here’s what you need to know about Rachel.

Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler in ‘West Side Story’ (20th Century Fox)

1. Rachel responded to an open casting call for West Side Story. 

Steven Spielberg began casting for the role of Maria in January 2018. Wanting to keep the movie as “ethnically authentic” as possible, the open casting call requested Latinx actors. Zegler responded to the call with a video of herself singing “Tonight” and “Me Siento Hermosa [‘I Feel Pretty].” Those submissions stood out from the 30,000 others, earning Rachel this potentially star-making role.

“When we began this process a year ago, we announced that we would cast the roles of Maria, Anita, Bernardo, Chino, and the Sharks with Latina and Latino actors,” Spielberg said, per Variety. “I’m so happy that we’ve assembled a cast that reflects the astonishing depth of talent in America’s multifaceted Hispanic community. I am in awe of the sheer force of the talent of these young performers, and I believe they’ll bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that’s more relevant than ever.”

2. Rachel Acted In High School. 

Rachel Zegler is no stranger to being the lead role! Born in Hackensack and raised in Clifton, Rachel developed her acting chops by partaking in theatrical productions at Immaculate Conception, an all-girls Catholic high school. She played Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” Dorothy Brock in a production of “42nd Street,” and Princess Fiona in a production of “Shrek the Musical.” Each role earned her a Metro Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress.

She has also portrayed Mimi in Rent, Cosette in Les Miserables, and Serena in Legally Blonde. In June 2019, Rachel graduated from high school.

3. She Has A YouTube Channel.

If you want to get to know Rachel better, there’s no better place to start than her YouTube channel. With 200k subscribers (as of April 2021), Rachel entertains her growing fanbase with covers of pop songs, Vlogs, and other videos. Rachel’s cover of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born went insanely viral with over 3 million views and counting. Then, when haters said it was autotuned, Rachel took to Twitter to post a soundcheck where she belted out some more “Shallow” lyrics, and DAMN, this girl has PIPES!

4. Rachel is a gun-control activist and speaks out against social injustices. 

Rachel has shared a number of posts to support the March For Our Lives movement and stand with immigrants on her Twitter page. “Protect kids, not guns. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: change is necessary for survival. our children are too precious and too important to be lost to the senseless need of guns,” she wrote in March 2018 with the “March For Our Lives” logo. In another, Rachel posed with a “Deport Trump” graffiti. While Rachel’s Instagram is mostly professional (with the occasional glamour selfie or goofy photo), her Twitter is highly active in social issues.

4. She Was Cast In ‘Shazam 2’. 

Rachel is primed to be the next big thing in Hollywood. West Side Story will not be her only shot at the big time, because she will be part of Shazam: Fury of the Gods, the sequel to the surprise hit superhero movie starring Zachary Levi. Rachel’s role, as of early 2021, was kept under wraps, but she did tweet, “I am in my key role in Shazam 2 era,” per Variety.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2: Square Enix fans need to save this date

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 is currently in development at Square Enix, with Yoshinori Kitase confirming at E3 2019 that work on the next chapter of the JRPG revival had already begun. Since then Kitase-san and director Tetsuya Nomura have dropped a few teases, including a shock plot twist as well as much quicker development times. But fans are still yet to get the first glimpse of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, with no screenshots or trailers for the highly anticipated JRPG being revealed yet.
However, fans will be hoping that this could all change very soon in a few months time.

That’s because Square Enix has confirmed that they will have a presence at E3 2021.

The iconic gaming expo is returning this year (following a hiatus in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic) as a digital event.

And in a recent interview with Nikkei Cross Trend, Square Enix president Yosuke Matsuda has confirmed that the Japanese gaming giant are planning to announce upcoming projects at E3.

Matsuda-san didn’t go into detail about what could be announced, but that won’t stop fans speculating in the run-up to E3 2021.

Square Enix has trademarked a number of long-lost franchises that could be in line for a return, such as Front Mission recently and Parasite Eve a few years back.

While a Reddit leak from last year, which initially was dismissed but later turned out to be at least partially accurate, claimed besides Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 the Shinjuku-based gaming icon also has a new Tomb Raider game in the works along with a Dragon Quest 3 Remake and more.

This leak also claimed that Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 will have a release date in 2023 on the PS5, Xbox and Windows.

The reveal of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 is arguably the one Square Enix fans are most holding out for, and hopefully we’ll have some announcement on the project at E3 this year.

E3 2021 is taking place between Sunday June 13 and Tuesday June 15. The Square Enix event will happen at some point during then.

Interestingly, the PS5 version of Final Fantasy 7 Remake – FF7R Intergrade – is releasing before E3 on June 10.

So with that release out of the way, Square Enix may want to turn fans’ attention towards what is next at E3 2021.

Speaking previously about Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, the game’s director Tetsuya Nomura said fans shouldn’t have as long a wait for Part 2 as they did for the first instalment.

Nomura-san said: “If we divide the story into large parts, it’ll take longer to make. If we divide it into more detailed smaller sections, then developing it will be faster.

“I hope to release the next one ASAP.”

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2: Square Enix legend drops huge hint about major plot twist

Final Fantasy 7 Remake was one of the best games of last year, and for many people will be their game of 2020. After first being teased towards the beginning of the noughties, Final Fantasy 7 Remake at long last arrived as PS4 exclusive in April 2020. And the lengthy wait for the return to Midgar turned out to be well worth with it as Final Fantasy 7 Remake is a spectacular game that not only brings the original PS1 classic into the modern age but at the same time treats the source material with great reverence – and throws in a few surprises for good measure too.
The new version of Final Fantasy 7 is being released in parts, so fans are having to wait for the next instalment to see how the story of Cloud, Tifa, Aertih and co gets continued.

As of yet we haven’t seen a single screenshot from Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2, with details extremely thin on the ground.

We do know that work on Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 had started at least around the time of E3 2019.

And that Square Enix are working to ensure there won’t be as lengthy a wait as fans endured for the first instalment.

As we wait for an official reveal of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 Yoshinori Kitase – who served as producer for FF7R and also directed the iconic original among other JRPG classics – may have dropped a big story tease.

Over the weekend a Japanese PlayStation live stream was held where fans got a closer look at Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade.

This is an updated version of FF7R heading to the PS5 which will include the Yuffie DLC that was announced during the February State of Play.

And Kitase-san could have dropped a big tease about Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.

We’ll have to go into story spoilers for the first part so please don’t read ahead if you haven’t finished Final Fantasy 7 Remake, or haven’t and don’t want the story spoiled.


Still here? Ready to read on? 

Okay. Kitase-san may have let slip that Jessie, who appeared to die in a heart-wrenching scene in FF7R, may actually still be alive.

As reported by Inverse, during the PlayStation stream over the weekend Kitase-san was asked about the more prominent role Jessie played in Remake.

At one point in the discussion the stream’s host said they assumed Jessie was still alive, to which Kitase-san started to nervously laugh.

The host said: “Jessie is alive, right? She must be alive.”

Kitase-san started nervously laughing at this and then the host asked: “What, did the internet connection suddenly go bad or something?”

And then the veteran Square Enix games maker replied: “Sorry I can’t say anything about that”.

It may be nothing, but Kitase-san’s reaction could be a sign that Jessie’s story isn’t finished and she will be making a comeback in Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 release update before Square Enix Presents

Square Enix has not shared its release date plans for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 yet but they have confirmed that no more DLC will be launched before its arrival.

As many gamers will already know, FF7 Remake is getting an upgrade later this year for the PS5, as well as new content expansion.

It’s good news for Final Fantasy fans who want an excuse to drop back into Midgar but is a little frustrating for anyone waiting on the second part.

Supporting an existing game with new content is always great news for fans, but it might also mean a longer wait time until the sequel.

And with such a long wait for the original remastering, gamers want to see a quicker turnaround for Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.

And in a new interview with Famitsu, Final Fantasy director Tetsuya Nomura revealed that the new DLC featuring Yuffie was created through a process of developing FF7R for the PS5.

This means that there is no additional DLC being planned for release, and that Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 will be the main focus.

A translated transcript from the interview reads: “The original purpose was to make the PS5 version of ” FFVII Remake “, not to “make DLC”. Therefore, there are no plans for DLC at this time.”


While Part 2 is unlikely to take the years it took for FF7 Remake to arrive, it probably won’t be popping up in 2021.

Fans have been given hope that the wait for Part 2 won’t be as long as the wait in-between the FF7R announcement and its actual launch.

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake was announced back at E3 2015 with the Remake launching just under five years after that.

The event will run for approximately 40 minutes and will include news covering Outriders, Tomb Raider, Just Cause Mobile and others.

The name absent from the list is Final Fantasy, with no mention made of the franchise getting a slot.

Square Enix could throw in a few surprises, but this might be very limited for FF, with a new mobile the biggest possibility.

Square Enix Presents takes place today, 18 March at 10am PDT / 1pm EDT / 5pm GMT / 6pm CET.

Fans will be able to watch it on the Square Enix show page in a variety of languages including English, French, German, Italian and Spanish), as well as the official Twitch and YouTube channels.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 news update: FF7 fans should mark these dates in the diary

Square Enix could finally be ready to lift the lid on Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.

In one of this week’s most surprising announcements, Square Enix confirmed plans to hold a special online event later this month.

The first ever Square Enix Digital Direct event will take place on March 18 at 5pm GMT in the UK.

READ MORE: Argos PS5 restock live – Latest PlayStation 5 stock update rolls out in March

According to Square Enix, the show will feature new trailers, gameplay videos and one or two announcements. Could we get an update on the next entry in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project?

Confirmed games for the show include upcoming action RPG Outriders, which makes its full debut on April 1.

That’s on top of games and franchises like Balan Wonderworld, Marvel’s Avengers and the 25-year anniversary of Tomb Raider.

Just Cause Mobile will also be showcased during the 40-minute event, as well as a new mobile game from Square Enix Montreal.

Square Enix sister company TAITO will also make an appearance, showing off one or two of its “whimsical games”.

Finally, Square Enix has confirmed plans to reveal the new game in the Life is Strange series.

With this being Square Enix’s first ever Digital Direct event, there’s a good chance the company will pull out all the stops and showcase some of its heavyweight franchises.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 certainly fits the bill, as well as Final Fantasy 16 and the recently announced Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade.

Fans can find out for sure when the event takes place at 5pm GMT on March 18.

Sony is also planning to hold an online event, just a few days after the Square Enix Direct presentation.

Sony Japan’s Play! Play! Play! event will be broadcast live on YouTube on March 21.

Final Fantasy 7 fans should mark this date in the diary, as Final Fantasy 7 Intergrade‘s Producer Yoshinori Kitase is confirmed to make an appearance.

The recently announced Final Fantasy 7 Remake expansion shifts the spotlight to fan favourite character Yuffie.

“Final Fantasy 7 Remake expands upon and reimagines the spectacular world of the original PlayStation game,” reads the official description.

“It covers up through the escape from Midgar and is the first game in the Final Fantasy 7 Remake project.

“Intergrade is a bundle that includes both Remake and the new episode featuring Yuffie. In her episode, play as the spirited ninja after she arrives in Midgar.

“There, she and another Wutaian operative are to rendezvous with Avalanche HQ, infiltrate the Shinra Building, and steal the conglomerate’s most powerful materia.”

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2: Square Enix breaks silence on PS5 sequel

Final Fantasy 7 Remake developer Square Enix has shared new details about the upcoming sequel.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake will be split into at least three parts, beginning with last year’s release on PlayStation 4.

As fans wait for gameplay footage and release date news, Square Enix has revealed one very important detail.

According to the latest reports coming out of Japan, Naoki Hamaguchi will be the sole director of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2.

The previous game was co-directed by Naoki Hamaguchi, Motomu Toriyama and legendary designer Tetsuya Nomura.

Speaking to Famitsu, Tetsuya Nomura said that while he will still be involved in the project, Hamaguchi will take the lead.

Tetsuya Nomura is taking a step back due to his involvement on an “unprecedented number of projects” at Square Enix.

READ MORE: PS5 stock update – Double dose of good PlayStation 5 UK restock news

READ MORE: Argos PS5 stock boost – Great news for gamers waiting to buy PlayStation 5

In other Final Fantasy 7 Remake Part 2 news, Nomura said that the sequel will take full advantage of the PS5’s features.

Nomura revealed the news while discussing the changes being made for upcoming PS5 release Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade.

“In terms of graphics, lighting and textures are the main adjustments, but environmental effects such as fog have also been added to further enhance the sense of realism and immersion in the world,” he said.

“As for adaptive triggers, they are partially supported. However, in terms of using all of the features of PlayStation 5, please wait for the next game where we can start from scratch.”

READ MORE: PS5 stock update – GAME, Currys, Argos, Very and Amazon UK restocks this week

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade is described as “an enhanced and expanded version” of the PlayStation 4 release.

Launching for the PS5 in June, the game comes bundled with a brand new episode featuring Yuffie as the main character.

“The new episode featuring Yuffie is a brand-new adventure in the world of Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade.

“Play as Wutai ninja Yuffie Kisaragi as she infiltrates Midgar and conspires with Avalanche HQ to steal the ultimate materia from the Shinra Electric Power Company.

“Play alongside new characters and enjoy an expanded gameplay experience featuring multiple new combat and gameplay additions. This adventure brings new perspective to the Final Fantasy 7 Remake Intergrade story that cannot be missed.”

PS Plus March 2021 boost: Get Final Fantasy 7 Remake for less with unmissable deal

PS Plus subscribers have been treated to some excellent free games in 2021.

The current line-up includes Control Ultimate Edition, Concrete Genie and brand new PS5 multiplayer game Destruction All-Stars.

It’s arguably even better in March, when Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Remnant: From the Ashes and Farpoint become available.

That’s on top of new PS5 puzzle game Maquette, which can be downloaded from March 2.

PlayStation Plus subscribers can also play multiplayer games such as Call of Duty and FIFA online with friends.

That’s on top of 100GB of cloud storage, which comes in handy when you’re running low on hard drive space.

If you want to grab the February and March free PS4 and PS5 games, then it’s worth heading over to ShopTo for cheap PlayStation Plus subscriptions.

The UK retailer is currently selling 12-month PlayStation Plus subscriptions for just £39.85, compared to £49.99 on PSN.

As a digital membership, the PS Plus subscription will be delivered immediately, which means you can use it to bag the latest batch of free PlayStation Plus games.


The headline PS Plus game for March 2021 is Final Fantasy 7 Remake, which launched less than 12 months ago.

“Square Enix’s modern reimagining of its iconic RPG boasts unforgettable characters, a mind-blowing story and epic battles.

“Return to the city of Midgar as Cloud Strife, former member of Shinra’s elite SOLDIER unit now turned mercenary, lends his aid to the resistance group Avalanche. Initially executing daring raids against Shinra to fight back against its planet-threatening machinations, Cloud and his comrades are unaware of the epic consequences that await them.

“The story of this first, standalone game in the Final Fantasy VII Remake project covers up to the party’s escape from Midgar, and goes deeper into the events occurring in Midgar than the classic original.”

The only drawback is that the Final Fantasy 7 Remake is that the PS Plus version isn’t eligible for the PS5 digital upgrade.

“Please note the PS4 version of Final Fantasy VII Remake available to PlayStation Plus members is not eligible for the PS5 digital version upgrade,” Sony explains.

Remnant: From the Ashes, on the other hand, is described as a third-person survival shooter.

“In this third-person survival action shooter, play as one of the last remnants of humanity attempting to retake a world overrun by monstrous, interdimensional invaders.

“Venture into dynamically-generated worlds alone or with up to two other survivors, scavenging for supplies and modding your equipment to strengthen your chances of survival when tackling over 100 deadly varieties of enemy and battling epic bosses.”

Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Pokemon Direct 2021 start time, Presents live stream, Diamond and Pearl Remake news

The leaker – who in the past correctly revealed when an upcoming Nintendo Direct was happening – posted about what was planned for the Pokemon Anniversary.

Besides New Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Unite, Kelios also tweeted that a Detective Pikachu sequel was in the works.

And the leaker also said that remakes fans have long been calling for are coming and will be out in November 2021.

While Kelios didn’t specifically mention Diamond and Pearl, this seems to be the most likely candidate.

Since then it’s been claimed the Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl Remakes will have Let’s Go catching mechanics.

These rumours were only given more weight when earlier this week the official Pokemon Twitter tweeted: “Let’s Go, Sinnoh!”

Daily Express :: Gaming Feed