Before Lin-Manuel Miranda gave us Hamilton, he gave us In The Heights. The movie adaptation of the Broadway musical has been in the works for far too long, but the wait is almost over. The premiere of the new global trailer for the film, which is hitting theaters and HBO Max on June 18, is here, and it’s colorful, bold, and full of life, just like the neighborhood that inspired the story. Warner Bros. shared a new trailer that premiered during the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, giving movie lovers a taste of what’s in store in what’s expected to be one of this summer’s biggest films.
The film is about Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos), a first-generation Dominican-American bodega owner in Washington Heights, New York, who has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune. The trailer is an experience that showcases pure joy. It does its best at painting a picture of what fans of the beloved play can expect from the movie. There's plenty of singing and dancing on the streets, a huge synchronized dance number at a public city pool, dance numbers at the local bodega, and glimpses of first-generation kids following their own path to fulfill their dreams.
Based on the trailer, Washington Heights is its own character in the film. Even if he didn’t grow up in the neighborhood, it’s clear that director Jon M. Chu has gone the extra mile to keep the neighborhood and the stories it tells as authentic as possible. Just like he did with Crazy Rich Asians, the director made it a point to search for a diverse cast from all walks of life, colors, ages that could sing and dance and tasked Warner Bros. with that responsibility. That type of casting requires more money and time, but they pulled it off seamlessly.
The cast and crew held a sneak peek trailer event on Saturday and shared their thoughts on working on the movie and how it feels to be quickly approaching the highly-anticipated premiere finally. Angie Martinez hosted the event and spoke to Miranda, Chu, and the film’s stars Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Dascha Polanco, Leslie Grace Corey Hawkins, and more. The actors opened up about their experiences working on the film and what it means to be part of a project representing the culture of Latinxs living in New York City. “It’s a blessing to be able to be a part of this. It baffles my mind that some little Latin kid in the hood, somewhere in the world, is going to be able to see this and be like, ‘Yo!’ And that’s the dream,” Ramos said.
Quiara Alegría Hudes wrote the film’s screenplay and the book that inspired the concept for Miranda’s play. The movie was filmed in 2019 and was originally scheduled for a summer 2020 release but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now hit theaters and HBO Max a year later, on June 18.
Check out the In the Heights poster and more stills from the film below.