Warner Bros. Pictures has released the opening minutes of director Jon M. Chu’s upcoming film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s acclaimed musical, In the Heights, starring Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace and Melissa Barrera. Originally scheduled for a June 18 release, In the Heights has now been slated to arrive in theaters and on HBO Max a week earlier on Thursday, June 10.
The 8-minute long opening sequence begins with the introduction of Ramos’ Usnavi as he takes us to his family-owned Bodega, while giving us a preview of what’s a usual morning like in Washington Heights. The video also briefly introduces us to Usnavi’s regular customers which are comprised of the main cast including Hawkins’ Benny and Barrera’s Vanessa.
Based on Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s award-winning Broadway musical, In the Heights is set in Washington Heights in New York City and focuses on a bodega owner who is closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune. The film fuses 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.
The film adaptation stars Anthony Ramos (Hamilton, A Star is Born) as Usnavi de la Vega, Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton) as Benny, Melissa Barrera (Vida) as Vanessa, and Leslie Grace as Nina Rosario. It will also feature Miranda, Jimmy Smits, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Stephanie Beatriz, Olga Merediz, Gregory Diaz IV, Marc Anthony, and Dascha Polanco.
In the Heights is directed by Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) from a script written by Quiara Alegría Hudes (Hamilton). It is produced by Miranda, Hudes, Anthony Bregman, Mara Jacobs, and Scott Sanders.
Miranda portrayed the lead role of Usnavi in the Broadway musical and also wrote the music and lyrics. It went on to win four major Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Choreography.