Lin-Manuel Miranda has had quite the recent success in films, with the movie version of "Hamilton" and "In the Heights" receiving stellar reviews so far on Rotten Tomatoes. He's also making his directorial debut with "Tick, Tick...Boom!" The film's teaser trailer was just released on Thursday. For all of his projects, Manuel-Miranda has not directed one, until now.
Manuel-Miranda weighed in for Netflix how he can relate to the film:
“tick, tick…BOOM! is a corner of the world I know from every angle. I know what it’s like to be a struggling songwriter. I know what it is to be in your 20s writing that one musical, what it’s like to be in New York with a bunch of friends with artistic dreams and then watch them drop off one by one, to real life, while you’re still hanging on.
It’s a story of doubling down on your craft in the face of impossible odds, which is not unique to musical theater — it’s the struggle of any artist trying to make a living doing the thing they love.
The film is based off of a musical by the same name, an autobiographical work by Jonathan Larson who went on to create "Rent" The story follows Jon (Andrew Garfield), in the eight days leading up to the workshop performance of his musical "Superbia." His 30th birthday is also approaching, while he struggles to wonder if he's in the right profession.
As one can imagine, the film has a theme of time and milestones. "The pressure of these simultaneous ticking clocks acts as metronome for everything else he’s balancing: his day job as a waiter at the Moondance Diner, his relationship with his girlfriend, his friendships," a synopsis mentions.
The film indeed has a connection to "Rent." For instance, Vanessa Hudgens appears both in this film, and has been in various iterations of the musical, a film fact-sheet provided by Netflix mentions.
Providential connections run deep when it comes to the production of the film. According to that fact-sheet:
• January 25, 1996. Larson, 35, passes away on the morning of Rent’s first Off-Broadway preview show. It’s later determined that he suffered an aortic aneurysm caused by undiagnosed Marfan’s Syndrome.
• Rent is a smash hit. Its arrival is an earth-shattering moment for musical theater and its fans, and forever changes the landscape of stories told on or off Broadway. Jonathan Larson is posthumously awarded numerous Tony and Drama Desk Awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. His dream of revolutionizing musical theater came true, but he didn’t live to see it.
•January 16, 1997: Lin-Manuel Miranda attends a performance of Rent on his 17th birthday. He is inspired to begin writing one-act musicals.
• 2017: With the blessing of Jonathan Larson’s estate and as a result of Julie Oh’s passion, Imagine Entertainment picks up the rights to adapt the musical for film with only one person in mind to direct.
• Fall 2021: Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with an adaptation of tick, tick...BOOM!, 25 years after the Broadway debut of Rent and the passing of its creator, Jonathan Larson. Jonathan’s sister, Julie Larson, is an executive producer on the film and was integral to its production.
"Tick, Tick...Boom!" comes out on Netflix and in select theaters on November 6, 2021.