Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s feature directorial debut Tick, Tick… Boom! will open this year’s AFI Fest, which will take place Nov. 10-14 in Los Angeles.
The film is based on the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, who revolutionized theater as the creator of Rent. Oscar-nominated actor Andrew Garfield plays Larson, who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. Days before he’s due to showcase his work in a make-or-break performance, Jon is feeling the pressure from everywhere, including his girlfriend Susan, who dreams of an artistic life beyond NYC, and his friend Michael, who has moved on from his dream to a life of financial security. With the clock ticking and his artistic community being ravaged by the AIDS epidemic, Jon finds himself at a crossroads and facing the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have?
Tick, Tick… Boom! co-stars Alexandra Shipp, Pose sensation Mj Rodriguez, Emmy winners Bradley Whitford and Judith Light, Tony nominees Robin de Jesús and Joshua Henry, and Vanessa Hudgens as well as Tariq Trotter, aka Black Thought of The Roots. The film will be released in select theaters on Nov. 12 before it arrives on Netflix on Nov. 19.
Tony Award winner Steven Levenson wrote the script, and Miranda produced the film with Brian Grazer and Ron Howard of Imagine Entertainment, as well as Julie Oh.
AFI Fest celebrates its 35th edition this year, and the world premiere of Tick, Tick… Boom! will take place at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre on the opening night of the hybrid festival, which will feature both in-person screenings and virtual screenings. There will also be a gala event celebrating Julie Andrews, this year’s recipient of AFI’s Life Achievement honor. That tribute will take place on
Thursday, Nov. 11 at the Dolby Theatre.
“AFI Fest will remind the world [of] the power of this art form to lift our spirits at a time we need it most,” said AFI president/CEO Bob Gazzale. “Opening with the imperative voice of Lin-Manuel Miranda and celebrating the joy that Julie Andrews has provided generations will set our sights on a brighter day — just like in the movies.”
With health and safety being its top priority, AFI Fest officials will require all festival-goers who attend in-person events and/or screenings to be fully vaccinated. I look forward to AFI Fest each year, so this mandate comes as something of a relief. Meanwhile, Garfield is poised for a busy fall between this film, Searchlight‘s The Eyes of Tammy Faye, and a tiny little movie called Spider-Man: No Way Home. I, for one, can’t wait…