In mid-2020, Warnes Bros Pictures took to YouTube to share its first teaser trailer for the film ‘In The Heights’, a story about immigrants trying to break into the world. Currently, it has surpassed more than ten million views, but the film’s release has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. In the Heights is an upcoming American musical drama film directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The film is based on the 2007 stage musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda, which appeared in a minor role and starred Anthony Ramos in the role of Usnavi de la Vega. Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco and Jimmy Smits also star.
Centered on a variety of characters living in the Washington Heights neighborhood, far north of Manhattan. One of them is Usnavi, a bodega owner who cares for an old Cuban woman who has a crush on a beautiful girl who works at a neighboring beauty salon and also dreams of winning the lottery to go to his native Dominican Republic beach. Meanwhile, Nina, Usnavi’s childhood friend, has returned to the neighborhood since her first year on campus with shocking news for her parents who have spent a lifetime saving to build a better life for their daughter. Finally Usnavi and local residents realized what was called “home”.
The film project has been canceled several times. On November 7, 2008, Universal Pictures announced that they planned to adapt the original music as a feature film for release in 2011. Kenny Ortega was set to direct the film, which was scheduled to start shooting in the summer of 2011. However, the project was canceled in March 2011. In January 2012, Lin-Manuel Miranda stated that the film adaptation was back in discussion. In May 2016, it was announced that Miranda would be producing the film with Harvey Weinstein and supported by The Weinstein Company.
On June 10, 2016, Jon M. Chu, the director of previous successful films such as Crazy Rich Asians, came to direct the film adapted from the musical. But after various allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, his producer credit for the film was removed, with the rights to the film eventually auctioned off to Warner Bros. for $ 50 million.
‘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 ‘Vida’ ), Olga Merediz (‘In the Heights’ Broadway), Daphne Rubin-Vega (‘Rent’ Broadway), Gregory Diaz IV (‘Matilda the Musical’ Broadway), Stephanie Beatriz (‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’Dascha Polanco (TV’s’ ) Orange Is the New Black ‘) and Jimmy Smits (‘ Star Wars’ film).
In October 2018, Anthony Ramos was cast in an undisclosed role, later revealed to be the lead role of Usnavi. On 5 November 2018, it was reported that Rita Moreno had started talks with the studio to star in the film, however, shortly thereafter, this turned out to be untrue.
In January 2019, Corey Hawkins played Benny. In April 2019, Jimmy Smits, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Olga Merediz, Gregory Diaz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz and Dascha Polanco played a role. In June 2019, Marc Anthony and Lin-Manuel Miranda joined the cast.
“In the Heights” was produced by Miranda and Hudes, along with Scott Sanders, Anthony Bregman, and Mara Jacobs, while David Nicksay and Kevin McCormick served as executive producers.
Behind the camera, Chu reunited with “Crazy Rich Asians” production designer, Nelson Coates, and editor, Myron Kerstein. He has also collaborated with photographic director Alice Brooks (TV ‘The Walking Dead’), and costume designer Mitchell Travers (‘Eighth Grade’). The choreography was created by Christopher Scott, who previously worked with Chu on the award-winning “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers”.
‘In the Heights’ was filmed in New York, especially at locations in the dynamic Washington Heights community. Scheduled for release on 26 June 2020, it will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. With a special premiere in the United States on June 18, 2021, the film will be available on HBO Max the same day.