Andrew Garfield’s next project is a musical collaboration with Lin-Manuel Miranda and if the first teaser trailer for the film tells us anything, it’s that Garfield can belt out a tune with the best of them. In the upcoming Netflix production Tick, Tick... Boom, Garfield takes on the role of Jonathan Larson, a real-life theatre kid and musical genius on the precipice of fame — but one who’s haunted by the idea that time is closing in on him.
Larson was the creator behind the massively successful stage production, RENT as well as the theatrical and autobiographical musical Tick, Tick... Boom. His work tackled issues like homophobia, the AIDS crisis, and addiction however Larson himself died at the age of 35 from an undiagnosed heart condition. His death came just before RENT previewed Off-Broadway and so its creator was awarded the three Tony Awards the musical garnered posthumously.
In Tick, Tick... Boom, Garfield plays Larson at age 30, when the composer and writer was questioning his decision to make his career in the New York theatre scene with all of its challenges and letdowns. His partner is unhappy in Manhattan, he’s unhappy in his restaurant job, and he’s hounded by the persistent ticking of the clock, telling him he’s getting old and success is still so far out of reach.
“Lately I’ve been hearing this sound. Like a time bomb,” Garfield says. “The fuse has been lit. The clock counts down the seconds. The flame gets closer and closer and closer until all at once, everything explodes.”
The film is directed by another musical mega-talent, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Tick, Tick… Boom! marks his full-length feature directorial debut on the big screen after his success in creating and starring in the Broadway musicals In The Heights and Hamilton — both of which have since been adapted into movies. (In The Heights, a Jon M. Chu-directed musical about a bodega owner with big dreams, premiered today.)
“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,” said Miranda — who starred in the stage production — in an official release. “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.”
His new project features a cast of other big theatre-world names including Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesús, Joshua Henry, and Pose’s MJ Rodriguez (who had a role in the 2011 revival of RENT). The film also stars The Handmaid’s Tale actor Bradley Whitford, Judith Light, Vanessa Hudgens, and Tariq Trotter of The Roots. The movie is set to be released this fall.
[video_embed id='2218986']BEFORE YOU GO: Anthony Ramos shares how he connects with his 'In The Heights' role[/video_embed]