IN THE HEIGHTS Director John M. Chu Discusses Release Postponement
Warner Bros. announced today that the release of the film adaptation of In the Heights has been postponed indefinitely. The film, which was scheduled to be released on June 26, remains undated for now as the studio decides on a new release date.
In a new interview with Insider, the film's director, John M. Chu, discussed the decision to postpone the film's theatrical release date, as well as the choice to forego an early streaming release in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"We want people to have the movie theater experience," Chu told Insider. "And with it being a musical, if you look back at history, that kind of movie has always brought people together at the worst times to celebrate life. And now we need that even more so."
The director was putting the finishing touches on the film in New York City when the decision was made to enact temporary travel ban to the United States. Despite the rapidly developing situation with the Covid-19, Chu says it was never an option to release the film online before it hit theaters
"I actually called the studio to make sure, because I had read stuff online," Chu explained, "And they said, 'You have our word. We know what this movie is.'"
Though the pandemic is certain to shift people's priorities, Chu and Lin both agree that it is important to release the film the right way because of its "message of community."
"The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it." he said, "When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in."
Lin-Manuel Miranda took to Twitter earlier today to share his thoughts on the postponement. Miranda said, "We had the best summer of our lives filming #InTheHeightsMovie last year. We gathered in WASHINGTON HEIGHTS and told this story, on location in this neighborhood, with our neighbors in this community. We couldn't wait to share it with you. But we're going to have to wait a little longer. With the uncertainty in our world, right now, the release of In The Heights is being postponed."He continues, "When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theaters. We'll have the premiere uptown. The best summer of our lives, together. Patience & Faith. Paciencia y Fe."
The In the Heights film was written by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) directed the movie-musical. Anthony Bregman, Mara Jacobs and Scott Sanders produced.
The film stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, Melissa Barrera as Vanessa, Corey Hawkins as Benny, Leslie Grace as Nina, Olga Merediz as Abuela Claudia, Jimmy Smits as Kevin Rosario, Stephanie Beatriz as Carla, Dascha Polanco as Cuca, Marc Anthony as Sonny's Father, Noah Catala as Graffiti Pete, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Piraguero.
The Tony Award-winning musical IN THE HEIGHTS features music & lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda and book by Quiara Alegría Hudes. The show opened on Broadway production in March 2008 and was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography and Best Orchestrations. It won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album and was also nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Alright, mama, okay... pic.twitter.com/1uxOuUxe53Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) March 24, 2020