Here are some things I associate with New York City in the summer: Hot rubbish smells mixed with the smoke from a nearby hot dog cart; the almost ethereal light of the sunset over the Hudson River that bathes the entire city in golden blush hues; the brief thrilling moment where the wind from a passing subway breaks the stifling August humidity; the sticky sweet sensation of walking home after a night out with friends.
If you could project those feelings onto a screen, you’d get the latest trailer for In The Heights. Adapted from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-award-winning Broadway musical and directed by Jon Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), the long-awaited film stars Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos as bodega-owner Usnavi who, along with his friends and family, is struggling and thriving in his neighbourhood of Washington Heights. The trailer introduces us to Usnavi, along with best-friend Benny (Corey Hawkins), and love interest Vanessa (Melissa Barrera), all while promising some majorly enviable dance ensembles.
That’s another thing — after postponing its original June 2020 release, In The Heights is now set to blow into US cinemas and HBOMax on June 18, a time that politicians and health experts are now hinting might mark the beginning of a tentative return to normal.
In The Heights seems to be aware of the expectations it carries. The tagline for the trailer, released on Sunday, reads: “This summer, we’ll be back to dancing in the street together.” Remember dancing? Remember people? Remember summer? Remember singing in public without worrying about the amount of droplets you might be expectorating? In The Heights has all that and more. This trailer has all that, plus the kind of exuberant, bracing enthusiasm that so many of us craving after an entire year inside.
Along with Ramos, Hawkins and Barrera, you’ll spot Leslie Grace, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Stephanie Beatriz, Dascha Polanco, Jimmy Smits, and Miranda himself, an all-star cast that marks a turning point for Latinx visibility on-screen.
Watch the full trailer below, and get your first taste of summer.