Lin-Manuel Miranda: ‘Halle Bailey is going to be such an incredible Ariel’

Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t wait for audiences to see Halle Bailey play Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.It was announced last year that the Hamilton creator would be working with composer and songwriter Alan Menken – who wrote…

Lin-Manuel Miranda can’t wait for audiences to see Halle Bailey play Ariel in Disney’s live-action remake of The Little Mermaid.

It was announced last year that the Hamilton creator would be working with composer and songwriter Alan Menken – who wrote the music for the 1989 animated classic – on four new songs for the highly-anticipated reboot.

And Miranda revealed that the Chloe x Halle singer will stun fans with her performance as the love-struck mermaid.

“Halle Bailey is going to be such an incredible Ariel,” the 40-year-old told Entertainment Tonight.

The Mary Poppins Returns star said that getting the opportunity to work on the live-action remake, and writing songs for such iconic characters such as Ariel, singing crustacean Sebastian, and villainous sea witch Ursula, was a dream come true.

“Getting to write music for these characters that are probably the reason I started writing musicals in the first place, it was actually easier than I thought,” Miranda, who also serves as producer on the project, shared.

“But the hardest part was my own intimidation working with Alan Menken and that was entirely self-imposed,” he added. “But when it came to how these characters speak and what they say, I’ve known that all my life. So that was a joy.”

He also sweetly added that he named his eldest son, five-year-old Sebastian, after the crooning crab.

The Little Mermaid is scheduled for release in November next year.

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Viola Davis and Lin Manuel-Miranda sign letter calling for diversity in theatre

Viola Davis and Lin Manuel-Miranda have signed a letter calling for more diversity in theatre.The Oscar-winning actress is among the Hollywood stars leading the call for change in the industry and has signed an open letter addressed to ‘White American …

Viola Davis and Lin Manuel-Miranda have signed a letter calling for more diversity in theatre.

The Oscar-winning actress is among the Hollywood stars leading the call for change in the industry and has signed an open letter addressed to ‘White American Theater’.

Sandra Oh, Uzo Aduba, Sterling K. Brown, Cynthia Erivo, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Danai Gurira, Andre Holland, and Leslie Odom Jr. also signed the letter, which emphasised the systemic racism against black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) in the business.

“We see you. We have always seen you. We have watched you pretend not to see us,” the message began, before going on to detail incidents of racism and exploitation. “We have watched you exploit us, shame us, diminish us, and exclude us. We see you. We have always seen you. And now you will see us. We have watched you amplify our voices when we are heralded by the press, but refuse to defend our aesthetic when we are not, allowing our livelihoods to be destroyed by a monolithic and racist culture.”

Hamilton creator Miranda shared the open letter on Twitter and asked for his followers to join the We See You movement.

“Join us in demanding change for BIPOC theater artists at http://weseeyouWAT.com. #WeSeeYou #TomorrowTherellBeMoreOfUs,” he wrote, alongside a link to the petition.

The letter comes amid racial inequality and injustice protests in the U.S. and around the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minnesota last month.

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Hollywood rallies round John Boyega following Black Lives Matter speech

J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill and Jordan Peele have pledged to support John Boyega after he feared he would never work again following his anti-racism speech at Black Lives Matter rally.The Star Wars actor attended the protest in London’s Hyde Park on Wedne…

J.J. Abrams, Mark Hamill and Jordan Peele have pledged to support John Boyega after he feared he would never work again following his anti-racism speech at Black Lives Matter rally.

The Star Wars actor attended the protest in London’s Hyde Park on Wednesday and gave a speech to the crowd in which he condemned racial injustice and called for action.

“Look I don’t know if I’m going to have a career after this but, f**k that,” Boyega told the crowd, as his voice broke with emotion. “Black lives have always mattered. We have always been important. We have always meant something. We have always succeeded regardless. And now is the time. I ain’t waiting. I ain’t waiting.”

After a video of Boyega’s speech went viral on Twitter, filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry urged other Hollywood creatives to make a pledge to work with the Attack the Block star in the future.

“I would work with John Boyega and I urge other Non-Black creators to affirm that they have his back as well,” he wrote.

Abrams, who directed the 28-year-old in Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015 and 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, wrote: “You KNOW that as long as I’m allowed to keep working, I’ll always be begging to work with you. Deep respect and love, my friend.”

“Have before and would again, in a heartbeat. So proud of John today,” wrote Edgar Wright, who was an executive producer on 2011’s Attack the Block.

“We got you, John,” Get Out director Peele replied, as well as Lin Manuel-Miranda, who tweeted: “Oh god I WISH, Ojalá! From Attack The Block to this day!”

Hamill, who has worked with Boyega on all three of the Star Wars sequels, penned an emotional note to the young actor.

“Never been more proud of you, John. @JohnBoyega (love), dad,” he posted.

The official Star Wars Twitter account also threw its support behind the British actor, and even shared a link where fans could watch his speech at the rally. “We stand with and support you, @JohnBoyega,” they wrote.

Protests have been taking place in the U.S., U.K. and around the world in response to the tragic death of George Floyd, who died at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis last week.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s documentary release postponed

The release of a documentary starring Lin-Manuel Miranda has been postponed out of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters. We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, a documentary that chronicles Miranda’s pre-Hamilton improv hip-hop group, Freestyle Love …

The release of a documentary starring Lin-Manuel Miranda has been postponed out of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters.

We Are Freestyle Love Supreme, a documentary that chronicles Miranda’s pre-Hamilton improv hip-hop group, Freestyle Love Supreme, and their reunion performances in New York City in 2019, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was due to be released on Hulu on Friday.

However, on Wednesday, two days before its scheduled release, the group announced on social media that they were postponing the debut to show their support for the widespread Black Lives Matter protests taking place throughout the U.S. following the shocking death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers on 25 May.

“We are for the freedom of expression, creativity, inclusion, equality, and most of all, love,” they said in a statement. “Our work has always centred around creating a safe space for ideals to flourish. Our show does not exist without the generations of brilliant black artists that created two of our most beloved American art forms, jazz and hip-hop.

“Today our country, our world, struggles to reach an end to this systematic racial injustice, intolerance, police brutality and hate. We add our voices to that fight. To that struggle.

“Because in this moment, our collective attention is turned towards these most pressing concerns, we have decided to postpone the premiere of our film, We Are Freestyle Love Supreme. We believe that through activism, understanding and love, this country will realise that now is the time lasting, real change and equity.”

Freestyle Love Supreme regularly staged an off-Broadway show before Miranda’s success with In the Heights and Hamilton. In addition to Miranda, the documentary features Pitch Perfect star Utkarsh Ambudkar, Hamilton director Thomas Kail, and James Monroe Iglehart, who originated the role of Genie in the Broadway musical Aladdin.

No new release date for the documentary was announced.

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Met Gala 2020 officially cancelled

The 2020 edition of the Met Gala has officially been cancelled. The annual Costume Institute Gala was due to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on 4 May, with the bash to celebrate the opening of the spring exhibition titled Ab…

The 2020 edition of the Met Gala has officially been cancelled.

The annual Costume Institute Gala was due to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on 4 May, with the bash to celebrate the opening of the spring exhibition titled About Time: Fashion and Duration.

Back in March, regular co-chair and U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour announced the fundraising event had been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, and museum officials subsequently declared on Tuesday that there will be no Met Gala this year.

The Met has been closed since March and it looks set to reopen in mid-August or shortly after, in accordance with New York authorities’ phased reopening plan for the city.

About Time: Fashion and Duration, which documents the changes in fashion throughout the Met’s 150-year history, is currently scheduled to open on 29 October and run until 7 February 2021.

Met officials have scrapped all talks, tours, concerts, and events to be held at the museum for the rest of 2020. They hope to resume the Met Gala and other events, including a belated celebration of its 150th anniversary, next year. The 2021 bash will be focused on next year’s Costume Institute exhibition.

The co-chairs of the 2020 edition were to include Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquiere and Hollywood stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep.

Founded in 1948, the Met Gala was established as a way to raise money for the newly-founded Costume Institute. Over the course of the gala’s history, it has been cancelled twice – following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, and in 2002, after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton film to debut on Disney+ in July

The filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical Hamilton is to debut on the Disney+ streaming service in July.Studio bosses had originally planned to release the project, directed by Thomas Kail and featuring performances by the original cast,…

The filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s stage musical Hamilton is to debut on the Disney+ streaming service in July.

Studio bosses had originally planned to release the project, directed by Thomas Kail and featuring performances by the original cast, in cinemas in October 2021.

However, they will now make the musical, which tells the story of U.S. founding father Alexander Hamilton, available on Disney+ on 3 July – just in time for America’s Independence Day holiday.

“I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house,” said Miranda. “I’m so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

Filmed at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June 2016, the movie version will feature Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr.

Miranda’s other upcoming movie is the adaptation of his stage musical In the Heights. Directed by Jon M. Chu and featuring Anthony Ramos in the lead role, the film is now scheduled to be released in June 2021 after being hit with delays due to the coronavirus crisis.

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Vogue hosting virtual Met Gala event

Editors at U.S. Vogue magazine will be hosting a virtual Met Gala event on YouTube on Monday.The annual Costume Institute Gala was due to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on 4 May, with the fashion bash set to celebrate the op…

Editors at U.S. Vogue magazine will be hosting a virtual Met Gala event on YouTube on Monday.

The annual Costume Institute Gala was due to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on 4 May, with the fashion bash set to celebrate the opening of the spring exhibition titled About Time: Fashion and Duration.

But while regular co-chair and U.S. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour confirmed that the 2020 Met Gala would be postponed indefinitely back in March due to the coronavirus crisis, she has now unveiled a line-up of online content for keen fashionistas.

“It would be impossible to recreate the gala on Monday evening, though I have loved hearing how so many are marking the occasion in their own ways,” she said. “So instead, I asked a few friends to join me for a simple moment – one that I hope will bring us all a bit of joy.”

The programming will kick off with a look at actress Liza Koshy’s best red carpet moments, followed by British supermodel Naomi Campbell reflecting on some of her most iconic looks.

The A Moment With the Met will begin at 6pm EST, with the livestream to include performances from Florence + The Machine and a DJ set by Louis Vuitton menswear designer Virgil Abloh. Another clip, entitled Everything You Need to Know About the Met Gala, is to start after.

And on Tuesday, fashion stars such as Cardi B, Jeremy Scott, Liv Tyler, and Stella McCartney will take part in further Met Gala-related discussions.

As part of the initiative, bosses at Vogue will be donating to the Costume Institute and A Common Thread, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund for Covid-19 relief. They will be asking viewers to consider contributing if they can.

While guests for the 2020 Met Gala were not revealed prior to the postponement, the evening’s co-chairs were to include Louis Vuitton’s Nicolas Ghesquiere and Hollywood stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Emma Stone, and Meryl Streep.

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In the Heights postponed until summer 2021

Jon M. Chu’s movie musical In the Heights has been postponed by a year to summer 2021.The Crazy Rich Asians director was just 20 days away from completing post-production on the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning stage musical …

Jon M. Chu’s movie musical In the Heights has been postponed by a year to summer 2021.

The Crazy Rich Asians director was just 20 days away from completing post-production on the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning stage musical when the coronavirus pandemic struck. Accordingly, crew members were forced to work remotely in line with social distancing measures, and as a consequence, the film wouldn’t have been completed in time for its original 26 June 2020 release date.

Warner Bros. executives pulled the musical from their calendar back in March, and on Tuesday, they set a new date – 18 June 2021, almost a year after it was originally set to hit cinemas.

“After long conversations & sleepless nights of uncertainty, we have decided the best time to release #InTheHeightsMovie is next summer when people will feel the MOST comfortable celebrating in a movie theater TOGETHER,” Chu wrote on Twitter. “I know it’s much later than we wanted but… #InTheHeightsMovie didn’t take 10 years to get made only to be left in half-empty theaters w/out the crowd it deserves!! So thank you 4 ur patience & faith…and when we get through this time & the movie comes out we are throwing a HUGE EFFING PARTY LIKE YOUVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE (sic).”

The Hamilton creator retweeted Chu’s message and added lyrics from the show, writing, “So we’ve got the summer and we’ve got each other Perhaps even longer,” alongside heartbroken and multiple clock emojis.

The Mary Poppins Returns actor created In the Heights and originated the lead role of bodega owner Usnavi, who will be portrayed by Hamilton star Anthony Ramos in the film. Miranda will have a small role alongside the likes of Stephanie Beatriz and Corey Hawkins.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. executives reshuffled more of the studio’s schedule, announcing delays to films including The Batman, Shazam 2, and The Many Saints of Newark. They are currently still keeping the dates for Christopher Nolan’s Tenet in July and Wonder Woman 1984 in August.

On Tuesday, they also confirmed they were scrapping the theatrical run of new animated Scooby-Doo movie, Scoob!, and releasing it on-demand instead. The film will be available to rent or buy at home from 15 May.

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Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio movie

Director Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio film rather than a small independent musical.When the filmmaker signed up to direct the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, which focuses on a largely Hispa…

Director Jon M. Chu was determined to make In the Heights a big studio film rather than a small independent musical.

When the filmmaker signed up to direct the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical, which focuses on a largely Hispanic community in Manhattan’s neighbourhood of Washington Heights, he used his status following his success with Crazy Rich Asians to make the film a big studio movie because he felt it deserved to be one.

“The lesson I got from Jon is we’re allowed to take up space with our stories,” Miranda told Variety. “He used his post-Crazy Rich Asians capital to say, ‘No, we get to take a big swing.’ This story, which could very easily have been this indie tiny musical about this neighbourhood, (he) was like, ‘This deserves a big swing. And this deserves to be as big as any of the other movies out there.’”

In the Heights stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, a bodega owner who dreams of a better life. The role was originated by Miranda on Broadway, and the Hamilton creator has taken on the smaller part of Piraguero, the owner of a small piragua stand. He is also overseeing the music.

The Mary Poppins Returns actor recently revealed he was still in the midst of completing the music when the coronavirus pandemic halted post-production and led to the film’s June release being postponed.

Yet, Chu has since assured fans that he is committed to bringing the movie to cinemas.

“I think it’s going to give a lot of people that light they need,” he commented to Insider. “The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it. When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in.”

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Jon M. Chu applauds decision to postpone release of In the Heights

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesd…

Director Jon M. Chu has praised the decision to postpone the release of In the Heights.

The silver screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway musical was set to be released on 26 June, but studio executives at Warner Bros. announced on Tuesday that it would be delayed, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We had the best summer of our lives filming In the Heights movie last year,” Miranda told his followers on Twitter. “We couldn’t wait to share it with you. But we’re going to have to wait a little longer. When we can safely gather again, flags in hand, we will be there, enjoying this movie in theatres.”

And in an interview with Insider, Chu revealed he was relieved the film had been postponed, as he felt it needed to be shown in a crowded cinema, something that would be impossible now with the closures of movie theatres around the world.

“We want people to have (that) experience,” he explained. “And with it being a musical, if you look back at history, that kind of movie has always brought people together at the worst times to celebrate life. And now we need that even more so.”

While the Crazy Rich Asians filmmaker was frustrated at being just 20 days from completing the film, he wants In the Heights to bring people together once the world begins to recover from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“I think it’s going to give a lot of people that light they need,” Chu shared. “The big thing is we get this movie on the big screen when people are in the right place in their lives to enjoy it. When people are coming out of the darkness and the light can come in.”

He also took to Twitter to share the same touching sentiment, and told his followers: “We will have a big friggin’ party when we get to see it on the big screen! And we will all be together again dancing in the aisles!! Stay healthy and take care of your family in the meantime.”

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