Sneak Preview of 2021 West Side Story Remake:Pfizer Jets vs. Moderna Sharks

When Steven Spielberg was hired to direct the remake of West Side Story, he insisted on bringing the movie up to date.  He felt that, in post-racist 2021 America, the plot of a white gang vs. a Puerto Rican gang in 1950s NYC would no longer capture audience interest.  So, to make it relevant, he insisted that writers focus on the rivalry between Pfizer and Moderna, competing with one another for control of the multi-billion-dollar COVID-19 vaccine trade in the U.S.  Here are some highlights, focusing on the new lyrics that accompany Leonard Bernstein’s classic score.

The new version of the movie begins in pre-pandemic 2019 with the handsome Tony (Fauci) feeling a strange premonition.

Something’s Coming

Could be, who knows?
There’s something due any day
I will know right away, soon as it shows.

Who knows? It’s only just out of reach
Down the block, on a beach, under a tree.
I got a feeling there’s a disaster due
Gonna come true, coming to me.

Something’s coming, something bad, hold my breath.
Something’s coming, I don’t know what it is
But it’s gonna bring death.

At the Intensive Care Unit of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, patients line the halls, singing and dancing.

I Feel Shitty (to the tune of I Feel Pretty)

I feel shitty,
Oh, so shitty,
I feel shitty and gritty and fucked,
And I pity
Anyone else this crap has also struck.

I am coughing,
I am wheezing,
It’s alarming that I can’t get a breath,
And feel so shitty
That I think I may be close to death.

Fade to a scene outside a supermarket on the Upper West Side of New York City with angry customers singing.


Tonight, tonight,
The world is such a fright,
With disease and death all over the place.
Tonight, tonight,
The country’s wracked with blight,
With Trump and Pence staring into space.

Today, we had toilet paper,
Sanitizer, hand soap
And Clorox Wipes,
But here we are
And all the shelves are empty

In a striking panoramic scene, the entire United States medical community (led by Tony Fauci and Deborah Birx)  is seen marching on Washington, filling the National Mall with a crowd many times larger than was present at the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.

Gee, President Trumpy 

Gee, President Trumpy

The country’s a mess

No one knows what to do

And you’re adding more stress.

President Trumpy, you’re really an ass

Please set an example, put on a god-damn mask.

President Trumpy, stop being such a jerk

No “ingesting bleach” bullshit, you know it don’t work.

Gee, President Trumpy

We’re down on our knees

Let us be the ones who control this disease.

In response, President Trump initiates Operation Warp Speed, setting into motion the vaccine production operation at two rival gangs (the Pfizer Jets and the Moderna Sharks), each seeking control of the territory.

The Pfizer Jets Song (to the tune of Here Come the Jets)

When you’re Pfizer
You’re Pfizer all the way
From your first Celebrex
To your last Lyrica.

If you’re Pfizer
And can’t get up the hill
You got us helping out
With a Viagra pill.

When you are Pfucked
With a capital P
Which you’ll never forget
Cause we’ll make the vaccine.
When you’re Pfizer
You stay Pfizer!

Not to be outdone, the rival gang sets to work.

Moderna Sharks (to the tune of America)

I like to be in Moderna
OK by me in Moderna
All drugs are free from Moderna (for a small fee to Moderna).

Therapeutics in Moderna,

MrNA in Moderna,
Very big deal in Moderna.

The President come to Moderna.

Make me vaccine please, Moderna.
Everyone there will be in luck,
Everyone here will get big bucks.

This leads to the dramatic confrontation between the Pfizer Jets and the Moderna Sharks (to the tune of Tonight).

Pfizer’s gonna have its day

Moderna’s gonna have its way


The Moderna Crew will grumble “Fair fight”

But if they start a rumble

We’ll rumble ‘em right

We’re gonna hand ’em a surprise

We’re gonna cut ’em down to size


We said, “O.K. no rumpus

No tricks.”

But just in case they jump us

We’re ready to mix.


The climactic confrontation begins, and Tony Fauci tries to break things up.  He gets stabbed in the gut by Scott Atlas, an anti-vaxer.  Viewing the scene from her fire escape, the lovely Deborah Birx rushes to Tony’s aid, trying to staunch the flow of blood by removing the colorful scarf from her neck, but to no avail.  He dies in her arms.  Closing credits.

The film is due to open on December 10, 2021, which will coincide with the 60th anniversary of the release of the original 1961 film.  Don’t miss it.