The broad strokes of the story follow bodega owner Usnavi, who dreams about saving every penny that he can to create a bigger and better life for himself, but the chance to realize what he’s always wanted comes at a personal cost, although he finds solace in the vibrant surroundings of Washington Heights and the colorful cast of characters he interacts with on a daily basis.
The stacked ensemble cast features Anthony Ramos in the lead role, with support from Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Stephanie Beatriz, Jimmy Smits and more, and while it’s been over a year since we’ve seen a new trailer (with that soon to change!), the promo was more than enough to hammer home that In the Heights promises to be a highlight of the summer schedule for a lot of people.
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The movie has been a long time coming, with the project originally announced at Universal as far back as November 2008 with famed choreographer and Hocus Pocus director Kenny Ortega at the helm. It ended up being canceled altogether three years later, and eventually ended up at Warner Bros. after the studio shelled out $50 million to secure the rights.
The versatile Jon M. Chu directs, having proven himself a jack of all trades after tackling a variety of movies in wildly different genres including concert film Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, action sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, sleight of hand heist thriller Now You See Me 2 and rom-com smash hit Crazy Rich Asians.
Miranda has remained on board throughout and takes a producing credit as well as playing a supporting role, while the screenplay hails from the musical’s co-creator Quiara Alegría Hudes. In the Heights was supposed to be released last summer, although much like every other major title on the calendar, it was pulled from the schedule due to the onset of COVID-19. Regardless of whether or not the theatrical industry has returned to anything resembling normality by the summer, HBO Max subscribers will get to see it on day one thanks to WarnerMedia’s decision to debut the entire slate of 2021 releases on streaming the same day they hit the multiplex.
Miranda still might be best known for his work in the theater world, which is no shame when you’re the brains behind the all-conquering Hamilton, with the filmed version of the musical extravaganza drawing in huge viewership numbers on Disney Plus last summer, but he’s now looking to put a sizeable dent in cinema.
As well as In the Heights, he’s also re-teaming with Disney to write new songs for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid, while he’s taking a sole composing credit on November’s Walt Disney Animation feature Encanto, and his directorial debut Tick, Tick… Boom! is heading to Netflix before the year is out for good measure.
In the Heights is currently scheduled for a release in theaters and HBO Max on June 18. The eye-popping posters tease the majority of the movie’s biggest moments, and you can check them all out below.
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The crown has changed hands once again.
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