Before “Hamilton,” there was “In the Heights.” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s debut musical opened on Broadway in March 2008 to rapturous acclaim and 13 Tony Award nominations. The musical, set over three days in the largely Hispanic-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, centers on a bodega owner who must decide whether or not to give up his store and leave his community behind after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune. “In the Heights” won the Tony Award for Best Musical, and now it’s a full blown movie musical from “Crazy Rich Asians” director John M. Chu.
Chu’s “In the Heights” adaptation is produced by Miranda, who also stars in a supporting role. The protagonist, Usnavi de la Vega, is being played by Anthony Ramos, who appeared on Broadway in Miranda’s blockbuster “Hamilton” and had a leading role in Spike Lee’s Netflix series “She’s Gotta Have It.” Miranda starred as Usnavi in the musical’s original Broadway run. Supporting characters in the film are played by Jimmy Smits, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, Corey Hawkins, and more.
The “In the Heights” movie adaptation was originally set to be produced through The Weinstein Company. Warner Bros. stepped in to save the film following TWC’s collapse in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual assault. Chu largely shot the film on location in Washington Heights. The director is coming off the major success of “Crazy Rich Asians” and looks to have another crowd-pleasing hit on his hands. Chu has experience with helming large dance sequences and musical numbers, having directed films such as “Step Up 2: The Streets,” “Step Up 3D,” “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” and “Jem and the Holograms.”
Warner Bros. is positioning “In the Heights” as one of its major tentpoles for the summer movie season. The musical adaptation joins Patty Jenkins’ “Wonder Woman 1984,” Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet,” and James Wan’s new horror movie “Malignant” on Warner Bros.’ summer slate. The film will be the first major musical adaptation to hit theaters following the release of “Cats” this Christmas.
Warner Bros. is set to release “In the Heights” in theaters nationwide June 26, 2020. Watch the official trailer in the video below.