The only thing more energetic than the new musical In the Heights is the man who directed it. Jon M. Chu has made a career out of creating high energy movies like Step Up 2: The Streets, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Crazy Rich Asians, but his particular skill set feels so perfectly in line with this latest project. His film adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical about the hopes and dreams of the denizens of Washington Heights in New York City is a big movie: big on romance, big on drama, big on comedy, and even big on running time. But if the film is inexhaustible, that’s because Chu himself is just that.
I spoke with Chu ahead of In the Heights‘ theatrical and streaming debut this week, and he showcased a unique ability to cram 20 minutes of information into a 10-minute interview. We talked about his advice for making a great musical, the big sequence he fought to protect, the agonizing process of killing your darlings, and why you should absolutely see the film in theaters.
In the Heights hits theaters and HBO Max this Friday, June 11, 2021.
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