The musical film adaptations, In The Heights and the upcoming West Side Story, happened to be filming close to each other during production.
The filming of the musical films In The Heights and West Side Story happened to be next to each other. In The Heights is the first of many upcoming films adapted from famous, Tony-winning Broadway musicals this year, featuring Antonio Ramos in his first title role as Usnavi de la Vega. The movie is directed by Jon M. Chu, known for directing Crazy Rich Asians, and focuses on the characters residing in a corner of Washington Heights, pursuing of a better life. The musical movie features a majority-Latino cast that includes Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Jimmy Smits, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Olga Merediz, and Gregory Diaz IV.
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Another movie set to release this year is an adaptation of the 1957 Stephen Sondheim musical West Side Story, which will be released 60 years after the 1961 film. The new movie is directed by Steven Spielberg and will star Ansel Elgort and newcomer Rachel Zegler as Tony and Maria, two teenagers who fall in love, despite being part of opposing street gangs. The musical film will bring back Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for the first film as Anita, now being played by Ariana DeBose, and will also star David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, Josh Andrés Rivera, and Ana Isabelle.
Per The Wrap, both In The Heights and West Side Story happened to be filming close to the same place, enough for Chu to confront the situation. As it turns out, both projects happened to be filming their street scenes sometimes at the same moments, leading to some collision on set. However, Chu loved the fact that the two films were able to work and shoot simultaneously, going on to comment:
“We were right there in each other’s back some days. There was one day where their catering truck was literally in our shot and we had to go over there and be like, ‘Can you move your catering truck that way, guys, please?’ There was like a fun rivalry. All the dancers know each other. There was fighting over who was getting who, but at the end of the day, everyone’s working — how beautiful is it that everyone’s working? And what a great time in the musical space that two of us can exist.”
Fans who are aware of the musicals know that the majority of both stories take place on the streets of New York City. Since both movies were shot in the summer of 2019, it is not surprising that the productions happened to run into each other, but that no doubt caused issues when it came to filming. With both films having much in common, including extravagant song and dance sequences, they had become two of the most anticipated movies of the year among musical fans.
Despite In The Heights and West Side Story being delayed due to the pandemic, they have both given audiences a reason to return to theaters. In the Heights has already received praise from both critics and audiences, and has quickly become the hit of the summer due to it also premiering on HBO Max. With the news of both musical movies having filmed in the same location, it will be interesting to compare In The Heights and West Side Story when the latter is released on December 10.
Source: The Wrap
- West Side Story (2021)Release date: Dec 10, 2021
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