The first look at the film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical “In the Heights” is finally here, and it promises plenty of vibrant colors and dazzling dance numbers.
Warner Bros. released a trailer Thursday for the highly anticipated project directed by “Crazy Rich Asians” filmmaker Jon M. Chu. The story follows the ups and downs of a tight-knit Latinx community living in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan over the course of three hot summer days.
“A Star Is Born” breakout Anthony Ramos takes over for Miranda as Usnavi de la Vega, the owner of a neighborhood bodega who witnesses the triumphs and heartbreaks of each community member who passes through his store.
“It’s the story of a block that was disappearing,” Usnavi says at the top of the trailer. “En un barrio — Washington Heights. The streets were made of music.”
The trailer sees the Washington Heights community banding together as external forces threaten its existence, weaving in poignant themes, such as immigrant rights and class struggle. To the tune of Usnavi’s opening rap sequence, the neighbors cool off in the pool, fall in love, break down in tears, dance and march in the streets.
“A dream isn’t some sparkly diamond,” Usnavi’s voice warns. “There’s no shortcuts. Sometimes it’s rough.”
The film also stars Leslie Grace as Nina, Corey Hawkins as Benny and Melissa Barrera as Vanessa. Miranda also returns, not in the main role, but as Piragüero, the owner of a small piragua stand. He occupies a brief moment in the trailer, riding his bike down a lively block.
“In the Heights” marked Miranda’s Broadway debut in 2008, scoring 13 Tony nominations and four wins, including for best musical, original score and choreography. Miranda wrote music and lyrics for and starred in the production before going on to create his star-making smash hit “Hamilton.”
Miranda also served as a producer on the film adaptation, which hits theaters June 26.