With new trailers dropping, In The Heights might just be the most anticipated film of the summer.
"This is a big movie musical," Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who co-wrote the 2007 Tony Award-winning musical of the same name, explained on Saturday, March 13.
"We're so used to asking for less, just to ask to occupy space. As Latinos, we're like, 'Please just let us make our little movie.' And [director] Jon [M. Chu], on every step of the way, he was like, 'Nope, this is a big movie.' These guys have big dreams, we're allowed to go that big."
The movie is set on a block in New York City's Washington Heights, a predominately Latino neighborhood that Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) is contemplating giving up to move to the Dominican Republic.
"I've never seen anything where there's 75 Latinos in the middle of the street dancing and singing about pride and where they come from," Ramos said. "I get emotional when I'm thinking about this movie and what it means to me and the culture," the Hamilton star added, saying he never saw a movie where "somebody looked like my grandmother, somebody looked like my tia, someone looked like my cousin."
Miranda described the upcoming release as a "dream come true." "I started writing this film when I was 19 years old. I just turned 41," he gushed.
"It’s basically a prayer," Olga Merediz, who reprises her role as Abuela Claudia after originating the part on Broadway, said. "It's something that gives you strength and it gives you hope. And believe me, during this pandemic, the song 'Paciencia y Fe' that Lin-Manuel beautifully wrote has been living in my mind because there wasn't much to hold on to."
In order to give Latino actors more representation, Chu said that they deserve "a dream musical" about "people in a place where the walls aren’t big enough to contain their hearts, and what does that feel like."
He added, "We get to witness that with this beautiful cast."
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the release was postponed several times. The flick was filmed two years ago, but Melissa Barrera, who plays Vanessa, "cannot wait for the world to see this beautiful movie."
"We made something very special, and it's been a while waiting for it, but I feel like now the time is going to fly by until June."
In The Heights will premiere in theatres and on HBO Max on June 18.