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Oscars Trailer Park: 'In The Heights,' 'Summer of Soul,' And 'West Side Story'

By Kristy Puchko | Film | April 26, 2021 |

By Kristy Puchko | Film | April 26, 2021 |


Last night, the 93rd annual Academy Awards offered a controversial shake-up of its standard look, from setting, content, and a joltingly more intimate vibe. Yet, there was an enchanting sense of hope in the air, watching people gather safely in one space to celebrate together. Then, Frances McDormand, who took home two Oscars as the leading lady and producer of Nomadland, urged audiences to return to theaters, so we might reclaim the magic of experiencing big-screen cinema as a community. The trailers last night sang to this optimism, literally, boasting music-centered films that are sure to bring the house down.

Here are the trailers for In The Heights, Summer of Soul, and West Side Story.

In The Heights will open in theaters and HBO Max on June 11.

Before Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote, directed, and starred in this exuberant stage musical about the New York City neighborhood, Washington Heights. Directed by Jon M. Chu and starring Hamilton’s Anthony Ramos, the film adaptation was originally poised to hit last summer. Some critics had already attended flashy preview screenings! Then, the world turned upside down because of the pandemic. However, In The Heights is readying for a summer release once more. This time, it will make its world premiere in the neighborhood that inspired it, during the Tribeca Film Festival, with satellite outdoor screenings across NYC. This means audiences can literally dance in the streets with joy. Wait for it.

Summer of Soul coming to theaters and Hulu on July 2.

Last night, the traditional orchestra at the Oscars was replaced by Questlove, whose DJing brought a spirited and unique spin to the ceremony with a dazzling array of songs. (Shout out to the Romeo and Juliet soundtrack’s moment!) Then, The Roots frontman took the spotlight to introduce the trailer premiere of his directorial debut, Summer of Soul. The documentary explores the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, which promoted Black pride and unity through a celebration of music. Following the doc’s Sundance World Premiere, critics were raving and remarking this is the kind of movie you want to see in theaters with a crowd. This summer, we could have that chance.

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story will open in U.S. theaters on December 10, 2021.

Last but not least, Disney dropped a trailer for the musical that long ago seemed a lock for this Oscar season. Based on the 1957 Broadway musical, West Side Story unfurls a Romeo and Juliet-style love story about two teens from feuding gangs. Rachel Zegler and Ansel Elgort star as Maria and Tony. Also on board are Ariana DeBose, Maddie Ziegler, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Josh Andrés Rivera, Ana Isabelle, Corey Stoll, Brian d’Arcy James, and the legendary Rita Moreno, who won an Academy Award for her portrayal in the 1961 adaptation.