Watch the opening 8 minutes of ‘In the Heights’ right now

With Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In the Heights” arriving in theaters and on HBO Max in mere days, the director surprised fans at midnight on Sunday by revealing the film’s opening eight minutes.

“I’ll never forget being in a theater as a kid & seeing a sneak peek of the opening of ‘The Lion King’…It wasn’t a trailer just the opening and I ALWAYS dreamed of doing that for an audience one day,” Chu wrote on Twitter before sharing the “In the Heights” opening, a lavish and lengthy performance of the musical’s title track.

In subsequent tweets, Chu shared a few “fun facts” about the performance, which features many of the film’s stars — including Anthony Ramos, Jimmy Smits, Corey Hawkins, and Melissa Barrera

“Fun Facts about the opening number: it took us the whole shooting schedule to complete the opening number because there were so many people and places to gather for it.” he wrote.

“Fun fact: the manhole cover/record scratch moment was an improvised beat that we came up with on the day on the set. [Ramos] just happened to be walking past it and we thought it would be fun. Didn’t know if the surreal moment would be too much but it survived,” he added.

With 85 reviews counted on Rotten Tomatoes, “In the Heights” is one of the year’s top-reviewed movies thus far, with a 96 percent rating. The Warner Bros. release debuts on HBO Max and in theaters on June 10, but Chu urged his followers to seek out the musical on the big screen.

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