Conceived as a “hip-hop version of Rent,” by Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda in the late 1990s, In the Heights catapulted him into stardom when his story, set over the course of three days and involving characters in the largely Hispanic-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City, made its off-Broadway debut in 2007, hit Broadway in the Spring of 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four – including Best Musical, Original Score and Choreography.
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.
In the Heights stars Anthony Ramos (A Star is Born, Broadway’s Hamilton), Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton, BlacKkKlansman), singer/songwriter Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera (TV’s Vida), Olga Merediz (Broadway’s In the Heights), Daphne Rubin-Vega (Broadway’s Rent), Gregory Diaz IV (Broadway’s Matilda the Musical), Stephanie Beatriz (TV’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Dascha Polanco (TV’s Orange is the New Black) and Jimmy Smits (TV’s L.A. Law, the Star Wars films). Chu is directing the film from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes; it is based on the musical stage play, with music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, book by Quiara Alegría Hudes and concept by Miranda. In the Heights is produced by Miranda and Hudes, together with Scott Sanders, Anthony Bregman and Mara Jacobs. David Nicksay and Kevin McCormick served as executive producers.
Behind the camera, Chu is reuniting with his Crazy Rich Asians production designer, Nelson Coates, and editor, Myron Kerstein. He is also collaborating with director of photography Alice Brooks (TV’s The Walking Dead) and costume designer Mitchell Travers (Eighth Grade). The choreography is by Christopher Scott, who previously teamed with Chu on the award-winning The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.
In the Heights was filmed in New York, primarily on location in the dynamic community of Washington Heights. Slated for release on June 26, 2020, it will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.
Here is the first trailer.