in the heights trailer

We all know who Lin-Manuel Miranda is: the guy from Mary Poppins Returns! Oh, he also wrote Hamilton, a billion-dollar Broadway sensation that’s become a cultural touchstone. But before there was Hamilton there was In the Heights, Miranda’s other award-winning musical. And now it’s headed to the big screen. Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu helms the film, which is set over the course of three sweltering summer days in Washington Heights in New York City. Watch the In the Heights trailer below.

In The Heights Trailer

We’ll probably have to wait a few years before we get a Hamilton movie, but for now, here’s In the Heights. The original Broadway show opened in March 2008, and would go on to be nominated for thirteen Tony Awards. It won four, including 2008 Best Musical, Best Original Score. The film features Anthony Ramos (who appeared in the Broadway production), Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, and Dascha Polanco. Oh, and Lin-Manuel Miranda is in it, too, of course.

Here’s the synopsis of the Broadway production:

In the hispanic community of Manhattan’s Washington Heights, bodega owner Usnavi is dating Vanessa, who works in a beauty salon. He dreams of opening a bar in his home country, the Dominican Republic. Nina loves Benny, a shy young man who has worked for Nina’s parents for years, but her father opposes their union because he wants Nina to finish her education at Stanford University. She doesn’t want her father to bankrupt himself paying for the expensive school, but her father is prepared to sell his car-service business. “Abuela” Claudia, who raised Usnavi after the death of his parents, wins $96,000 in a numbers game.

And here’s the movie’s synopsis:

Lights up on Washington Heights…The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life. “In the Heights” fuses Lin-Manuel Miranda’s kinetic music and lyrics with director Jon M. Chu’s lively and authentic eye for storytelling to capture a world very much of its place, but universal in its experience.

I’m interested to see how this all turns out. The visuals here look to be blending both a modern sensibility with an old school Hollywood musical vibe, and I’m curious to see how that works out. One could argue that La La Land attempted the same thing, but this looks a bit different than that. At the very least, this looks much better than the nightmare fuel that is the upcoming Broadway-to-screen adaptation Cats.

In the Heights opens June 26, 2020.

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