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A scene from the film adaptation of “In The Heights,” directed by John Chu, which took over a decade to develop. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

The long-awaited film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical about life in Washington Heights, a Dominican neighborhood in New York, finally arrives at cinemas and on HBO Max Thursday, and to rave reviews.

What they’re saying: “The people who are in the margins of other people's stories so much of the time in mainstream Hollywood or mainstream Broadway, they get the spotlight," Miranda tells NBC Latino.

The big picture: As U.S. cinemas hope for a summer film rebound, many are eager to see whether a Latino movie will make bank and pave the way towards greater diversity and inclusion in the film industry (with some paciencia y fe).

  • Based on Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, the story includes Latino characters from different cultures, and it is about their dreams, aspirations and love towards their barrio, without stereotyping them.
  • The film is directed by John Chu, who also directed “Crazy Rich Asians.”

By the numbers: On average only 4.5% of speaking or named film roles had Latin actors and only 3% were leads or co-leads, according to a study from the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative of 1,200 films released across a decade in the U.S.

Yet Latinos have had the highest per capita rates of movie-going for years, per industry reports.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2021 - Science

Inspiration4's all-civilian crew calls Tom Cruise from space

Photo: Neil Mockford/GC Images via Getty Images

The all-civilian SpaceX crew called actor Tom Cruise on Friday, giving him a glimpse into their experience in orbit two days after the successful Inspiration4 launch.

Don't forget: NASA announced last year that it would work with Cruise on a film aboard the International Space Station — though it's unclear where that currently stands.

Momentum builds to ban lawmakers from trading stocks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some progressive Democrats and MAGA Republicans are uniting on a proposal to ban sitting lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although it's unlikely that leadership will bring the bill up for a vote.

Why it matters: Members of Congress have great power to move stock prices, and great financial incentives to do so.

Thousands without power as "hazardous" winter storm lashes East Coast

Satellite imagery of the Northeastern U.S. taken by NOAA on Jan. 17. Photo: NOAA

A major winter storm was lashing much of the East Coast on Sunday, causing widespread power outages and disrupting travel over the holiday weekend.

The latest: The Weather Prediction Center said in a storm summary Monday that winter storm warnings are still in effect for portions of the Central Appalachians, Ohio Valley, interior Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast, while portions of the Central Appalachians and coastal New England are under high wind warnings.