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Movie Preview: In the Heights

December 12, 2019
5 min read

Musicals have proven to be some of the most entertaining Hollywood outings. It is rather surprising that not a lot of musicals are released every year, despite their popularity and success. Just remember the craze towards ‘Mamma Mia!,’ ‘La La Land’ or Disney’s animated features and you will know what we are talking about. ‘In the Heights’ is an upcoming musical movie that is packed with tons of promise and backed by serious talent.

To begin with, Lin-Manuel Miranda is attached to the project and has composed the movie’s music apart from producing it. Even the most skeptical person would agree that one can expect some wonderful music due to Miranda’s involvement. Secondly, the movie is an adaptation of a Broadway musical that Miranda was also a part of.

The musical of the same name has received rave reviews and that acclaim might be recreated with the film version. Thirdly, it is directed by the man who brought us ‘Crazy Rich Asians,’ Jon Chu. Continue reading to find out more about the movie’s plot, cast and crew, release date and trailer.

In the Heights Plot: What is it About?

As mentioned earlier, ‘In the Heights’ is based on a Broadway musical of the same name. It is set in the Hispanic community, Washington Heights in New York City and the story takes place over a course of three days. The main characters of the musical tale are Usnavi de la Vega and Nina.

Usnavi is a bodega owner who dreams of opening a bar in the Dominican Republic, his native country. Infatuated by a salon worker, Vanessa, Usnavi finally manages to ask her out and the two begin dating. Vanessa dreams of leaving the neighborhood and making it big but Usnavi worries that she will forget about him when she finally does manage to leave.

Nina, on the other hand is regarded as the pride of the neighborhood and the one who managed to make it out. However, she has dropped out of Stanford due to poor concentration towards her academics as she has had to work two jobs to pay the tuition. While she frets over being courageous enough to tell her parents about it, Nina ends up rekindling her romance with Benny, a shy employee of her father. Nina’s father is in opposition to the union and prepares to sell his car-service business in order to pay for Nina’s tuition. Nina is not too fond over his father going bankrupt to support her.

In the Heights Cast: Who is in it?

The cast of ‘In the Heights’ is led by Anthony Ramos who plays the character of Usnavi de la Vega. This character was played by Lin-Manuel Miranda in the original Broadway version. The American actor and singer is best known for essaying John Laurens and Phillip Hamilton in ‘Hamilton,’ the celebrated Broadway musical. Moreover, the American actress, singer and songwriter, Leslie Grace portrays the role of Nina in the movie. This character was played by Mandy Gonzalez in the Broadway musical.

The role of Nina’s lover, Benny is played by Corey Hawkins in the movie. The actor and singer is best known for starring in ‘The Walking Dead’ and ’24: Legacy.’ Moreover, he played Dr. Dre in ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and has also been nominated for a Tony award for appearing in the Broadway musical, ‘Six Degrees of Separation.’ He is one of the more prominent members of the movie’s cast and his singing and Broadway experience will surely add a feather to his cap. The role of Benny was played by Christopher Jackson in the Broadway version of ‘In the Heights.’

Moreover, the Mexican actress, Melissa Barrera stars in the musical too, playing the role of Usnavi’s love interest, Vanessa. She is notable for starring in the Mexican web series, ‘Club de Cuervos.’ Karen Olivo had played the character of Vanessa on stage. Plus, Stephanie Beatriz is also a part of the movie’s cast! The actress is prominent for playing Rosa in the sitcom, ‘Brooklyn 99.’ Other cast members include Olga Merditz, Jimmy Smits and Daphne Rubin-Vega.

In the Heights Crew: Who is Behind It?

The most celebrated person attached to the cinematic adaptation of ‘In the Heights’ is the supremely talented artist, Lin-Manuel Miranda. He is an actor, music composer, lyricist, singer and playwright. Having donned multiple roles in the past, Miranda is best known for creating, starring in and composing the music for various Broadway musicals. He has won a Pulitzer Prize, three Tony Awards, an Emmy and three Grammys! For this project, Miranda serves as the producer. But more importantly, he has also composed the movie’s music score, just like he did for the Broadway original. Having already proven his talent on several occasions, his attachment to the project means that one can expect another scintillating work of art.

Moreover, the movie is directed by Jon M. Chu. The filmmaker is best known for directing the box-office hit, ‘Crazy Rich Asians.’ Other than that, he has also helmed ‘Step Up 2: The Streets,’ ‘Step Up 3D’ and ‘Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.’ The movie is written by Quiara Algeria Hudes while Alice Brooks has handled the cinematography. Myron Kerstein serves as the editor while Warner Bros. Pictures is the distributor.

In the Heights Release Date: When Does it Premiere?

‘In the Heights’ is scheduled to release on June 26, 2020. The movie will be released in the United Kingdom about five weeks later, on August 7, 2020. We cannot wait to dance, cry and laugh to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tunes once again!

In the Heights Trailer:

You can watch the trailer for ‘In the Heights’ below. You can check out more details about the film on its Facebook page and its Instagram page.

[Disclosure: This article has been sponsored by distributors of the film]

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