Lin-Manuel Miranda is an icon in the musical theaters world, eventually lending his talents to a successful career in TV and film. Years before Hamilton was a worldwide sensation, Miranda became a household name thanks to his original Broadway musical In The Heights. The hip hop musical won a whopping four Tony Awards including Best Musical, in addition to a Grammy for the soundtrack. In The Heights has been adapted into a film by Crazy Rich Asians director John M. Chu, although its been pushed back a year due to global health concerns and closed theaters. And while the Hamilton movie is heading straight to Disney+, Chu recently explained why he and Miranda are committed to a theatrical release for their upcoming movie musical.
The upcoming Hamilton movie is arriving on streaming in just a few weeks, although it's not a movie adaptation as much as its a filmed Broadway performance starring the original principal cast. But In The Heights is getting the full movie treatment, with the first trailer teasing John M. Chu's colorful vision for the upcoming film adaptation. Chu recently explained why the movie needs to be released in theaters rather than streaming, saying:
Well, that seems pretty cut and dry. Because while plenty of movies are going straight to homes as a result of theaters being closed and audiences spending time in isolation, John M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda have no interest in seeing that trend extend to the In the Heights movie. The upcoming movie musical was methodically crafted, including visuals that will read better on a big screen.
John M. Chu's comments to Vanity Fair help to peel back the curtain with the decisions made regarding In The Heights' future. No one could have predicted that theaters would be closed, and a ton of highly anticipated blockbusters were pushed back a few months to a year in time. And while there's likely some temptation to release the movie this summer on demand/streaming, that's not the path for Usnavi's story in Washington Heights.
John M. Chu brought a colorful visual style to Crazy Rich Asians, which helped make the the 2018 romantic comedy such a massive success both critically and at the box office. The first trailer for In The Heights highlighted what a cinematic journey the upcoming movie adaptation will be. Characters walk across the side of buildings, dance in the streets, and there's a particularly beautiful scene at a local pool.
As a reminder, you can check out In The Heights' first explosive trailer below.
From looking at the this footage, you can see why John M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda would want to stand firm on giving In the Heights a full theatrical release. The movie's visuals be the at their best on the big screen, before eventually making their way to homes. But that means that the upcoming blockbuster won't be released anytime soon, as it's been pushed back to June of 2021.
Lin-Manuel Miranda himself also has a role in In The Heights, aside from being a producer and writer. He'll also be playing Mr. Piragüero aka the Piragua Guy, who gets a few vocal solos in the original musical. We'll just have to wait and see what John M. Chu has in store, and exactly how the beloved Broadway musical will translate to film.
In the Heights is currently set to arrive in theaters on June 18th, 2021. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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