In the Heights was Lin-Manuel Miranda's first major Broadway show before Hamilton

By Ale Russian
December 11, 2019 02:23 PM
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Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In the Heights is finally hitting the big screen.

The hit Broadway musical was the Hamilton creator’s first big show, winning four Tony awards, including best musical, after it opened in 2008.

Now, Miranda and book writer Quiara Alegría Hudes are teaming up with Crazy Rich Asians director Jon M. Chu to bring the musical to the big screen — and they just shared the first teaser.

The movie’s official trailer drops Thursday, but fans are getting a glimpse at the colorful and lively world of Heights in a teaser starring Anthony Ramos as Usnavi de la Vega. Ramos is taking over the role from Miranda, who starred in the show’s Broadway production.

In the Heights follows the residents of Manhattan’s predominantly Latin neighborhood Washington Heights, which is all the way in the northern tip of the island.

“It’s the story of a block that was disappearing,” Ramos seems to be telling a young girl in the teaser. “The streets were made of music.”

Back in August, Miranda, 39, opened up about the continued relevance of the musical’s story about immigrants, which premiered 11 years ago.

“There are things that were implicit then that are explicit now, like the way this wave of Latinx immigrants has to fight for their personhood,” he told Departures. “In this world we are more demonized than we have ever been.”

“This notion of, ‘We came from somewhere else and we’re trying to make the best of our lives here. We are just like you’—this, somehow, is a radical statement in 2019. It shouldn’t be,” he continued. “It didn’t feel that radical in 2008 [when In the Heights opened on Broadway], but it actually is, because there are so many who would say, ‘You don’t belong here. This country’s full.’ To see these characters joyously waving the flags of their home countries in New York City, it’s crazy that that’s a radical act. But it’s wonderful to put that on screen.”

And Miranda is excited for fans, particularly Latin fans, to see themselves represented on the big screen in a way they very seldom are.

“All I want for Christmas is for you to post footage of your reactions when you watch the #InTheHeightsMovie trailer tomorrow. So proud and I can’t wait for you to see,” he tweeted after the teaser dropped.

In the Heights hits theaters summer 2020.