Jon M. Chu: In The Heights helped me prepare for Wicked

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 7 June 2021
Jon M. Chu

Jon M. Chu

Jon M. Chu explained that directing 'In The Heights' has left him in good stead to helm the film adaptation of 'Wicked'

Jon M. Chu says that working on 'In The Heights' has been perfect preparation for 'Wicked'.

The 41-year-old filmmaker is helming an adaptation of the Broadway hit – which is based on 'The Wizard of Oz' – and says that directing a movie based on Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical has helped him notice the "power" of the genre.

Jon said: "We're in the beginning stages of 'Wicked'. However, I think the philosophy of what musicals mean to me personally now that I have actually made a movie musical... you know, there's theory about what movie musicals mean to me as being a watcher of movie musicals.

"Now that I've gone through it, what really has hit me is the power of music and why musicals exist in the first place when words aren't sufficient. Nowadays, words really aren't sufficient for what we're going through. So for me, it's finding the truth of each song and working our way inside out of why that exists."

'Wicked' is a retelling of 'The Wizard of Oz' from the perspective of witches Elphaba and Glinda and Jon has explained how the two characters will be at the centre of his film.

The 'Crazy Rich Asians' director said: "Yes, of course, we're going to have Oz, and you're going to be in this crazy world, and you're going to revisit this innocent place and you're going to see that it's not as innocent as it had been in the past.

"But you're also going to see that the relationship between these two women is more real than ever, that we're going to be that close to them. We're going to root for them to try and get into school at one point. You're going to want them to make up at another point, and you're going to feel when they separate.

"That's the most important thing. The spectacle? That's the easy part, we can hire a lot of people to do that. It's those little moments... that's what's going to make that."

In the Heights

  • 5 stars
  • 2021
  • US
  • 2h 23min
  • PG
  • Directed by: Jon M. Chu
  • Written by: Quiara Alegría Hudes, Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Cast: Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Jimmy Smits
  • UK release: 18 June 2021

A musical set in Washington Heights, New York and centred around a charismatic bodega owner dreaming of a better life.