The theatrical version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights is finally in theaters and streaming on HBO Max, which means fans can now spot all the differences between the stage production and what Anthony Ramos brings to the screen. But eagle-eyed viewers can also spot a sly reference to an extremely popular Miranda production that came along later: Hamilton.
In an interview with The Wrap, director Jon M. Chu described how he worked with Miranda to very subtly tie the two New York-based musicals together with a scene involving Jimmy Smits. His character Kevin Rosario calls the Stanford admissions office for his daughter, hoping to pay her tuition in time. When he’s put on hold, a very familiar song from the Hamilton soundtrack plays. Fans of the musical will recognize “You’ll Be Back” almost immediately, even without Jonathan Groff’s King George singing the lyrics.
As Chu detailed to The Wrap, the inclusion was actually Miranda’s idea as the two worked together to bring the play to life on the silver screen.
“That was indeed a Lin idea, and we wanted to make it a Muzak version,” Chu told TheWrap. “It’s all part of the ‘Lin-ematic Universe.”
It’s a fun little easter egg for sure, and one that doesn’t distract from the film itself while making Hamilton superfans feel like they’re in on the fun. It’s yet another connection between the two projects, though Miranda and Ramos are much more recognizable connecting ties in the grand scheme of things. There’s actually another minor appearance from a Hamilton alum in the film, though you’ll have to see it for yourself in theaters or on HBO Max to catch that added connection, too.
[via The Wrap]