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Lin-Manuel Miranda to make film directorial debut with Jonathan Larson musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda to make film directorial debut with Jonathan Larson musical

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda is teaming with Ron Howard’s Imagine Entertainment to make his film directorial debut.

Sticking with his roots, Miranda is adapting a lesser known Jonathan Larson musical, tick, tick… BOOM! Larson is best known for his 1996 musical Rent.

tick, tick… BOOM! is an autobiographical rock monologue, which Larson completed in 1991. It went through various Off Broadway performances, before David Auburn reworked it as a stage musical following Larson’s death and premiered it Off Broadway in 2001.

The story is based on Larson’s real life disappointment after the failure of his show Superbia, a futuristic rock retelling of 1984.

Jon is at the center of tick, tick… BOOM! and is an aspiring musical composer approaching his 30th birthday. He faces a midlife crisis as he wonders about pursuing a career in the arts. The show he’s workshopping is, naturally, also titled Superbia.

The other two main characters in the show are Michael, Jon’s friend, and Susan, Jon’s girlfriend.

Thematically, the show explores HIV, dreams and personal anxieties, and how a person’s own ambitions and failures can affect their relationships.

Miranda is producing alongside Howard, Brian Grazer, and Julie Oh all from Imagine. Larson’s sister Julie is also an executive producer on the project.

It’s a ‘humbling privilege’

Miranda’s Broadway work includes the Tony Award-winning In the Heights and Hamilton.

Currently, five companies are performing Hamilton across the nation and in London’s West End. Miranda is also reprising his role as the lead character for a limited three week engagement in Puerto Rico to help Hurricane Maria relief efforts.

‘Jonathan Larson’s captivating storytelling in Rent first taught me that musicals could be contemporary, true to life, and depict your own experiences,’ Miranda said in a statement.

Larson died unexpectedly at 35 the morning of Rent’s first preview performance Off Broaday. Rent went on to win four Tony Awards.

‘But it was tick, tick…Boom! that solidified that drive in me to hone my own voice as a playwright.’

Miranda himself played the lead role of Jon in 2014. Here he is rehearsing one of the show’s songs, a duet between Jon and Susan called Therapy.

Fans can next see Miranda this December as Jack the Lamplighter in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns.

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