After pandemic setbacks, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” — a Broadway production that was a hit well before “Hamilton” launched Miranda to stardom — is finally landing in theaters and on HBO Max.
When does ‘In the Heights’ hit HBO Max?
- With “Crazy Rich Asians” director Jon Chu at the helm, “In the Heights” hits theaters and HBO Max on Thursday, June 10.
- According to Business Insider, this move is part of a shift Warner Bros. made during the pandemic, when it began experimenting with different releasing strategies amid theater closures.
- The studio is debuting all of its 2021 movies on HBO Max.
- According to the streaming platform’s website, HBO Max subscribers can watch “In the Heights” on the $14.99/ad-free plan.
- The film will be available on HBO Max for 30 days after its June 10 premiere, Decider reported.
What is ‘In the Heights’ about?
Miranda wrote his first draft of “In the Heights” in 1999 — 10 years before he would begin to work on “Hamilton.”
He was a sophomore at Wesleyan College, still adjusting to life in Connecticut after moving away from his predominantly Latino neighborhood in New York, the Seattle Times reported. The idea for “In the Heights” emerged out of his desire to see his Latino heritage portrayed on stage in a way that felt real and familiar to him.
- “I saw Paul Simon’s ‘The Capeman’ my senior year in high school ... and that show just about broke my heart,” Miranda said during a 2014 appearance at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. “Not so much for the show, but the fact that it was 40 years after ‘West Side Story’ and we still had knives in our hands and we were still gang members.
- “There were things I very consciously did not want to represent, that I feel like Latinos and crime are very overrepresented in the media,” he continued. “I didn’t feel the need to represent that at all — that wasn’t the story I was interested in telling.”
Instead, “In the Heights” dives into the hopes and dreams of Hispanic American people in Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, the Deseret News reported. Among the vibrant community, there’s a bodega owner named Usnavi, and Vanessa, the young woman he pines after; there’s Nina, who has just returned from her first year at Stanford, and Benny, Nina’s father’s employee and potential love interest.
- “I’m just very proud that this is a musical about Latino immigrants that is written by Latinos with joy and love,” Miranda told CBS News. “We are the next chapter of the American dream.”