Everything We Know About Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘In The Heights’ Film Adaptation

The project was the Tony Award winner's first Broadway musical

Even the most passionate of Hamilton fans might not know that Lin-Manuel Miranda, the musical genius behind the highly-acclaimed Broadway musical, penned his first production while in college. Titled In The Heights, the musical is set in the Latinx community of New York City’s bustling Washington Heights, and following its stint on the stage in 2008, went on to win four Tony Awards (of its 13 nominations). 

The musical, in which Miranda originally starred as its title character, is being adapted for the big screen by Crazy Rich Asians director John Chu—and it’s the vibrant, joyful burst of energy we’ve come to expect from Miranda’s lyrical creations. Below, everything we know about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights. 

What Is In The Heights About? 

Taking place over three days, the film will follow the lives, struggles and relationships of a Hispanic-American community in the Washington Heights neighbourhood of New York City, where Miranda himself grew up. At the centre of the story is Usnavi, a bodega owner with big dreams and secret love for the girl who works in the beauty parlour next door. 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Lin-Manuel Miranda production without a hearty soundtrack to go with it, with the tracklist featuring a series of salsa, hip-hop, and soul numbers. And don’t worry, when speaking with Remezcla Miranda said that they have tried to keep as many of the original play’s songs in the movie.

in the heights

Who Is The Creative Team Behind In The Heights? 

Miranda, of course, is the man behind the music in the film, while Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for the musical, is the screenwriter. They both also serve as producers. The movie is directed by Jon M. Chu, of Crazy Rich Asians fame.

“You’re going to hear the word magic a lot today,” Chu tweeted alongside the first sneak peek. “There’s no other word to express what we felt shooting this movie every day. It starts with Lin and Quiara; they planted this magical seed that they planted into all of us. We had the best summer of our lives.”

Who Has Been Cast In In The Heights? 

While Miranda took on the stage musical’s title role of Usnavi, for its big-screen adaptation he will be taking on the role of ‘Piragua Guy.’ 

Anthony Ramos, who originated the roles of John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in Hamilton, has been cast as Usnavi, alongside Melissa Barrera as Vanessa. 

The film also stars Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz and Orange Is The New Black star Dascha Polanco.


Has A Trailer Been Released? 

After what seems like years of waiting, we’ve finally been blessed with our first look at In The Heights, which starts with Ramos telling a group of kids about the Heights. “It’s the story of a block that was disappearing; un barrio called Washington Heights, where the streets are made of music,” he says. The two-minute clip is energetic, colourful, and full of sing-a-long lyrics that have become synonymous with Miranda’s musical productions.

When Will In The Heights Be Released In Australia? 

In The Heights will be released on June 18, 2021, in theatres and on HBO Max. 

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