On the red carpet at this year’s Oscars, Lin-Manuel Miranda confirmed in an interview with Variety that he has written an original song for the end credits of the upcoming film adaptation of his 2008 Tony-winning musical “In the Heights,” which opens on June 26. He is already an Oscar nominee for writing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from Disney’s 2016 animated movie musical “Moana,” but ended up losing to “City of Stars” from “La La Land.” Could the show that launched his career give him another shot of completing his EGOT next year?
In Jon M. Chu’s upcoming movie adaptation, a young bodega owner (Anthony Ramos) has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune. The original Broadway production won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It also ended up winning the very first Tony and Grammy Awards for Miranda: Best Original Score and Best Musical Theater Album, respectively.
Miranda went on to win an Emmy for Best Music and Lyrics in 2014 with Tom Kitt for their opening number at the 2013 Tony Awards, “Bigger!” Then came two more Tonys for “Hamilton” (Best Original Score and Best Book of a Musical), another Grammy for “Hamilton” (Best Musical Theater Album) and one more Grammy for “How Far I’ll Go” (Best Visual Media Song).
If he wins the Oscar next year, it would be downright poetic because it’ll mean his first victories at three of the four grand slam awards would be thanks to his career breakthrough “In the Heights.” That would be similar to how one of the most recent EGOT recipients, Andrew Lloyd Webber, won his first Tony, Grammy, and Oscar all for “Evita” before eventually winning the Emmy as an executive producer of NBC’s “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert” in 2018.
While we don’t know much about the song itself yet, Miranda did say to Variety, “I didn’t want to spend time fighting for a new song when I knew I wanted as many of the original songs in the show as possible, so I wrote a new song for the closing credits. The final song in ‘In the Heights,’ if you’re familiar with it, tells the story so completely … there’s no more story to tell. So I just wanted to write a song where we get to hang with the characters a little longer this summer — and it’ll be sung by some of the principal actors in the movie.”
Three of the last 10 Oscar winners for Best Original Song played over the end credits of their films. In 2010 Randy Newman won his second Oscar for the end credits song from “Toy Story 3,” titled “We Belong Together.” In 2014 John Legend and Common won for the end credits song from “Selma,” titled “Glory.” And at this year’s Oscars, Elton John and Bernie Taupin won for the end credits song from “Rocketman,” titled “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” So will Miranda reach new heights like they did?
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