'In The Heights' Has Been Delayed By A Year, And That's A Good Thing
At this point, we've dealt with thing after thing getting canceled or postponed due to *big flailing gesture* everything going on. Alas, the In The Heights film, based on Lin Manuel Miranda's Broadway musical of the same name, will not be coming to a screen in your living room anytime soon.
This ... sucks. It's worth noting that the film is essentially done. I wish I could tell you exactly how done, because there was a test screening done back in December 2019 that I went to, stood on a line for, and still didn't get in to see. People showed up a good 8 hours early to get into an afternoon show. The people behind this movie rented out the entire ArcLight Theater in Pasadena, California -- every screen -- and had to turn away just so many people. People walked out in tears.
With that in mind, Chu and the rest of the team behind In The Heights are making a hard decision to delay the release, but it's the right one. This movie isn't Trolls 2, which benefits from an on-demand experience because now parents can leave the room, wash their face (and hands), and take a deep breath before having to return to the grim reality of having to watch the rest of Trolls 2. It's also not The Way Back, Ben Affleck's deeply personal film about the struggles of alcoholism, which might resonate harder with a quiet and subdued home viewing. In The Heights is a story about community and how it can come together through so many different intersecting stories. It's just natural and right to want the viewing experience to be a communal one.
And on a deeper level, there are struggles within the story that might resonate a little harder after we've come through on the other side of this coronavirus situation. Half the characters are small business owners -- a bodega, a cab company, and a hair salon, among other things. They're all hard businesses to run in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City (the cab company especially would be in rough shape), and they'd all be hit very hard by something like a pandemic. New York City is in a particularly bad way right now, and a movie coming out about celebrating life in the heart of it needs to wait until the real people there are ready to go out to a theater to see it.
Isaac is on Twitter and Instagram and would love for you to come debate musicals with him.