Good morning, and welcome to Washington Heights, where everyone’s got a job and everyone’s got a dream, as the song goes in the film adaptation to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “In the Heights.”
Anticipation has been high for “In the Heights” (reviews have been pretty great too), and on this Monday morning Warner Bros. dropped a tease of the first eight minutes of the film, or more specifically the opening song to the musical. Fans of the stage production will know just how lively and motivating it is, the perfect thing to watch before you’ve had your cup of coffee.
But people anticipating the musical will be surprised to see just how well director Jon M. Chu has done with the material, snapping between characters and visual gags and giving everyone in the cast a moment to shine, particularly Anthony Ramos as Usnavi. He takes over the lead from Miranda and flexes why he’s got the pipes, the flow and the charm to be the next big star.
“Today’s all we got, so we cannot stop. This is our block,” Ramos belts in the above clip.
This tease of “In the Heights” also includes the first cameo from Lin-Manuel Miranda himself, who takes on the role of Piragua Man in the movie. And you’ll also get a brief sense of the film’s framing device, which shows Usnavi on a beach explaining to a group of kids the magic of his New York home.
In addition to Ramos and Miranda, the film version of “In the Heights” stars Corey Hawkins, Jimmy Smits, Olga Merediz, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Stephanie Beatriz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Dascha Polanco and Gregory Diaz IV, all of whom pop up in these eight minutes.
“In the Heights” opens in both theaters and on HBO Max on June 10. Check out the video of the film’s first song here and above.