It’s finally happening! Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s big-screen adaptation of In the Heights is officially entering production and we couldn’t be happier. Alongside director Jon M. Chu, Miranda has been dropping casting news on his Twitter account for the last several months, and is committed to making sure the play’s Washington Heights locations are accurately reflected on-screen. And with filming in progress, the final bits of casting are coming out.
Miranda took to Twitter this morning to announce fellow Nuyorican singer and actor Marc Anthony is joining the cast. Anthony is playing the “brief but pivotal role” of Sonny’s father. Sonny (set to be played by Gregory Diaz IV) is the cousin of the film’s lead Usnavi (set to be played by Anthony Ramos). There’s no mention of Sonny’s dad in the original play, so it’s safe to say there’s some additional back story being added.
This marks Anthony’s return to the big screen after a 13-year absence. He was last seen as the star of the 2006 Hector Lavoe biopic El Cantante, a passion project of his, in which he co-starred with his then-wife, Jennifer Lopez. He’d previously starred in a supporting role in the Denzel Washington film Man on Fire, and since then has only appeared in the television show Hawthorne.
It’ll be interesting to see what they’ve added to Sonny’s past to entice Anthony to come out of film retirement (though who would turn down a chance to work in a Lin-Manuel Miranda feature?) The cast here is nothing short of stacked — other supporting actors include Jimmy Smits, Stephanie Beatriz, and Dascha Polanco — and it’ll only be a matter of time before we’re hearing those Tony-winning songs sung for a new generation.
In the Heights hits theaters June 26, 2020.