Lin-Manuel Miranda became a household name for writing and starring in the Tony Award winning blockbuster musical Hamilton. He’s since been able to use his talents on screens big and small, although his roots will always go back to Broadway. But before Hamilton was breaking box office records, Miranda also took home a handful of Tonys for his musical In The Heights. It’s a beautiful story about a community in Washington Heights, and the barrio will get a wider audience thanks to the highly anticipated movie adaptation. And now the first trailer has finally arrived, although it features a surprising change to the musical.
The In The Heights movie is directed by Crazy Rich Asians and Now You See Me 2‘s Jon M. Chu, and features a talented group of singers. Led by Hamilton original cast member Anthony Ramos and featuring Lin-Manuel Miranda as the Piragua Guy, the cast is also made up of Corey Hawkins, Jimmy Smits, Marc Anthony, Orange is the New Black‘s Dascha Polanco and Olga Merediz, plus Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Stephanie Beatriz. Check out the explosive new trailer, which seemingly include protagonist Usnavi seemingly out of The Heights and back in the Dominican Republic.
I mean, how amazing is that? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s music will once again occupy the big screen. And this time it’s personal.
The first trailer for In The Heights opens on Anthony Ramos’ protagonist Usnavi. The bodega owner is a warm beach somewhere, and entertains a group of kids by telling them the story of his neighborhood in Washington Heights. This is perhaps the biggest change to the source material. While in the musical Usnavi decides to stay in the city, it looks like the movie will bring him back to the Dominican Republic that he and his Abuela Claudia are talking about throughout the course of the project.
The colorful characters of the barrio slowly and surely pop up on screen, as various raucous musical numbers are teased. Another notable change from the In The Heights musical is the age of Usnavi’s cousin Sonny. While he’s historically been played by adult actors on the stage, the movie went for a younger actor. This should change the dynamic between Sonny and the protagonist, as well as their relationship with Abuela Claudia.
As for Abuela Claudia, she’ll be played by Olga Merediz, who originated the role on Broadway. Claudia gets one of the most powerful songs in the show “Paciencia y Fe” which highlights her immigrant experience coming from Cuba. The number itself is teased in this first trailer, and it looks like it’s going to be especially cinematic. We see Claudia in the snow, and singing inside a colorful tunnel filled with lights.
Overall, it looks like In The Heights is going to be a visual treat when it finally arrives in theaters. The titular neighborhood is almost a character itself, reflecting the hopes and dreams of its residents. The Act 1 showstopper “96,000” is going to be set in a community pool, and looks like it’ll be very exciting to watch. We also see glimpses of dance number “The Club”, and Nina and Benny’s love story will see them climbing the walls of a local building. Clearly Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu has a vision for the upcoming musical blockbuster.
In The Heights is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 26, 2020. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.