Lin-Manuel Miranda became a part of the national consciousness when Hamilton mania swept the nation, but longtime fans and Broadway aficionados were already very familiar with his first hit musical, In the Heights, way before the Schuyler sisters became a thing. Now, an adaptation of the musical is coming to the big screen.
The story takes place over a few days in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, where Miranda himself grew up. Along with writing the music and lyrics, Miranda starred in the musical (which opened on Broadway in 2008) as Usnavi, the main character, and was nominated for a Tony. He won’t be reprising the role in the film, though—that part will be played by Anthony Ramos, who starred as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton (Alexander’s eldest son). You also may remember him as Lady Gaga’s bestie, Ramon, in A Star Is Born.
The first trailer was just released, and it begins with Ramos telling a group of kids about the Heights. “It’s the story of a block that was disappearing; un barrio called Washington Heights, where the streets are made of music,” he says. And, boy is there ever music and dancing in the streets—and in the pool. We also see the neighborhood coming together in support of Dreamers who fear deportation. It’s one of the most energetic trailers we’ve seen in a long time.
Watch the first trailer for In the Heights for yourself below:
Miranda is already overwhelmed by the reactions to the first look.
We also got the first batch of photos from the movie, which you can see below:
Here’s everything else we know so far about the In the Heights movie.
The release date. The movie opens on June 26, 2020.
The creative team. Miranda, of course, is the man behind the music in the film. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for the musical, is the screenwriter. They both also serve as producers. The movie is directed by Jon M. Chu, of Crazy Rich Asians fame.
“You’re going to hear the word magic a lot today,” Chu said when introducing the trailer. “There’s no other word to express what we felt shooting this movie every day. It starts with Lin and Quiara; they planted this magical seed that they planted into all of us. We had the best summer of our lives.”
The cast. Along with Ramos as Usnavi, the cast also includes Jimmy Smits as Kevin Rosario, Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) as Benny, Melissa Barrera as Vanessa, Leslie Grace as Nina, Dascha Polanco (Orange Is the New Black) as Cuca, Marc Anthony as Sonny’s father, and Daphne Rubin-Vega as Daniela. Miranda will play the role of Piragüero.
“This is the dream team,” Miranda said. “This is the dream, dream, dream team and some of us have been with this thing for a while…everyone here is a superstar.”
This post will be updated as new information is released.
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