anthony ramos in in the heights

The Full Trailer for In The Heights Has Us Dancing!

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After a glorious teaser yesterday, the first full trailer for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights (directed by Jon M. Chu) dropped this morning and wow does it look great. From the vibrant colors to Anthony Ramos just being amazing throughout, it has us so excited for the film to drop next summer.

It’s a great trailer that tells us just enough about the musical to get us interested, especially those of us that missed it on Broadway or may not be as familiar with the story. It sets us up to follow the story of Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), a young man with dreams and a deep love for his Washington Heights neighborhood who seems caught between what he wants and what he’s allowed to do—a pretty archetypal musical set up.

The music we get in the trailer is pure Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote and starred as Usnavi in the original Broadway show and produced the film. Miranda has handed over his lead role to Hamilton co-star Ramos, but his fingerprints and echoes are all over this trailer’s music and energy. And, if you look, you can even spot Lin-Manuel Miranda in the trailer as the Piragua man. The combination of hip hop, Broadway, and Latin music (among others) is so moving, magical and so Miranda. 

We see a lot of Jimmy Smits in the trailer, who plays Kevin Rosario, as well as Leslie Grace as his daughter Nina (which makes sense since Kevin and Nina are two main characters) but we only see a few blink-and-you’ll-miss them appearances of other well-known cast members, including Stephanie Beatriz and Dascha Polanco. The trailer shows a beautiful story of the community and the neighborhood and that’s a key part of In The Heights.

I love the color and movement this trailer promises, as well as the more surreal, dreamy sequences of people dancing on the wall of buildings and staging elaborate numbers in a community pool. They remind me of classic Fred Astaire and Buzby Berkley in a new context which is perfect because this feels like a new kind of musical for a new era, with roots in the past.

The movie is directed by Crazy Rich Asians‘ Jon Chu, who appeared with Miranda and much of the cast last night to present the first look at the trailer in Washington Heights, where the film was shot on location earlier this year. Of the film being part of a movement and representing the Latinx community, Chu said: “Never underestimate the power of planting a seed. I believe that this movie is an amazingly beautiful movie that will change a lot of lives.”

One thing the trailer and the publicity for the film are missing is a confirmed release date. All we know is “Summer 2020” though sources like IMDb (which we always take with a  grain of salt) list it as June 26. It’s possible it will have a staggered release and not go wide until that date, thus the vague “summer 2020.” Whenever it’s in theaters, we’ll be there with our dancing shoes on.

(image: Warner Brothers)

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Jessica Mason
Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.