Although Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría’s In the Heights just hit theaters, cast members are already talking about a sequel. The movie, based on Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, is already getting so much buzz, but could there be an In the Heights 2? Here’s what several cast members have to say about the possibility.
A handful of the on-screen musical’s stars are ready to sign on for another In the Heights project. Included in the bunch are Leslie Grace (Nina Rosario), Melissa Barrera (Vanessa), Jimmy Smits (Kevin Rosario), Stephanie Beatriz (Carla), and the director, Jon M. Chu. Speaking to ET’s Deidre Behar at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) screening of the musical, when asked if there would be an In the Heights 2, Grace replied, “We’ve already started the petition.” Barrera agreed, saying, “There is nothing that we would want more in the world.”
Barrera continued to hype a sequel, saying, "Even if it takes Lin another 20 years to write the sequel, we will all come back.” She continued, "We know writing a musical is not an easy thing to do, so it really all depends on Lin and Quiara there. If one day you wake up and they're like, 'I dreamed up the sequel,' and Lin is inspired and writes the songs, I mean, we're there,” she said.
Grace agreed, adding that even if it takes 20 years, they’ll come back as grandparents. "Abuela Nina and Abuela Vanessa,” she joked.
Although a sequel isn’t officially in the works yet, the stars have an idea of what direction the plot could take. "I think it would be interesting to see actually, from the moment that Usnavi decides to stay, what happens. What happens in those years, because it can’t be easy," Barrera said. "There's always a little bit of back and forth and a struggle. So, I think it's important to honor the struggle, and it's important to celebrate the small victories.”
Despite her dreams for the sequel, Barrera expressed her doubts of it coming to fruition anytime soon. “A sequel is a dream that I don't know if it will happen because it took Lin a long time to get one done, and it takes a long time to make a musical. But, I know all of us would in a heartbeat come back to these worlds,” Barrera said.
Grace, who made her acting debut in the musical, said her character Nina would likely achieve even bigger and better things. "I see her persisting through a lot and finding her voice and speaking for young people like Sonny, who might not even see a foreseeable future for them in the present moment. But maybe she can just be propelled to create that pathway for them."
She also added, “I think we have a little nugget from Lin that really Nina's dream is to become the mayor," she continued.
The film’s director, Chu, also spoke about his excitement for a potential sequel. "If Lin and Quiara wrote the next chapter, you bet your *ss I'd be there,” Chu exclaimed. When discussing what the sequel could be about, Chu says Sonny would likely be guiding the next generation. "I think the next chapter is that next generation, seeing how Sonny helps guide them into the new chapter of their lives and how they're telling their stories.” Despite the film’s positive reviews so far, Chu, who also directed Crazy Rich Asians, said the most important thing is representation in the movie.
Smits, who played Nina’s father Kevin in the film, agreed that a Latino-led musical was incredibly important. "If you talked to me 10 years ago, we would have been talking about another kind of movie that had a Latino theme that we wanted to break through. And I think the time is right, and the universe is aligned for something of quality that the audiences will be able to be engaged with,” he said.
Although it may be a while until you know if In the Heights 2 is an official project, while you’re waiting, you can catch In the Heights in theaters and on HBO Max.