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IN THE HEIGHTS Director Jon M. Chu Opens Up About Why The Film Needs a Big Screen Release

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The Film Will Be Released on June 18, 2021

IN THE HEIGHTS Director Jon M. Chu Opens Up About Why The Film Needs a Big Screen Release

Back in April, the release date of the highly-anticipated film adaptation of In the Heights was pushed back from June 2020 to June 18, 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. Unlike many films set to be released this year, In the Heights, would not be moving to Video on Demand or streaming. The film's director Jon M. Chu explained why it's important that In the Heights receives a theatrical release.

Chu spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the decision, saying, "There was a vigorous debate about release dates of course, but in a weird way we were all on the same page when deciding [whether] this is an opportunity to stream this movie. At the end of the day, everyone who knows our movie or has seen our movie knows that it feels like it needs to be on the big screen. Many movies DON'T have to be, but there's a spirit about this one, a scope about this one, that I think we all believed in. So, there wasn't a fight between should we stream this or put this in the theatre. Everyone knew it was one we wanted to protect and make sure it got on the big screen. It is a very special movie, no doubt. To work with Quiara (Alegría Hudes), who wrote it, and Lin, obviously - the legend, the icon, Lin-Manuel Miranda. And for him to invite us into his hometown, Washington Heights, to introduce us to his neighbors, to the people he grew up with, to this area that he wrote these songs about, they'd never even performed these songs on the streets it was written about, that was really special."

Chu also thinks that this year delay will help new fans have time to become familiar with the story and the cast, which includes Anthony Ramos, who recently was seen in the hit Disney+ Hamilton film. Chu said, "What we found in Crazy Rich Asians is, it's not just releasing a movie, you are creating a whole ecosystem. You're making stars, so they have to be on magazine covers, they have to do THE TALK shows, they have to get into the system. If you only have a month, a couple of months, four months, five months, it's just not enough time. But when you have a year - once everything's settle down - then we have the time to actually create that ecosystem for the best outcome. I think that in the same way our Crazy Rich Asians cast has become a mainstay in Hollywood now and can carry their own movies, I know these actors 100 percent will do the same, We're definitely playing the long game."

When asked if he believed In the Heights could be made in the current climate, Chu responded, No way, no way. Not even a chance. Even some of the guidelines for how they're going to shoot - like, they can't have crowds of more than 10, and they can't have heavy-breathing, or they can only be exercising for less than a certain amount of minutes at a time. I mean, we had extras 500, 700 people deep, dancing, moving, swimming together. This thing is about the touch, because of how close everyone is."

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.

In the Heights Trailer:

Photo Credit: Macall Polay/Warner Bros.

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly

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