We’re still waiting for Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s In The Heights film to arrive later this year, but another of his projects has a new home. The animated musical Vivo, which has brand new songs written by Miranda and was previously in the works at Sony Pictures Animation, has been acquired by Netflix.
Deadline reports that this deal is a similar deal to Netflix’s recent acquiring of another project from Sony; the Kevin Hart movie Fatherhood. Netflix gets the first streaming window, but Sony will retain home entertainment and linear TV rights to all other territories, including China theatrical, after the film’s exclusive run on Netflix.
Also worth noting is that this deal is separate from the streamer’s new multi-year $1 billion deal with the studio. That begins in 2022, and gives Netflix an exclusive window for Sony’s theatrical titles. It also gives the streaming giant a first-look deal for any direct-to-streaming titles Sony is contemplating.
Vivo follows a one-of-kind kinkajou (aka a rainforest “honey bear”), voiced by Miranda, who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively Havana square with his beloved owner Andrés. They may not speak the same language, but are the perfect duo through their common love of music.
But when Andrés receives a letter from Marta, an old partner inviting him to her farewell concert in the hopes of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. But to get there, Vivo will need to accept the help of Gabi, an energetic tween who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum.
Kirk DeMicco (The Croods) and Brandon Jeffords (Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2) are co-directing the film, with DeMicco and Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for Miranda’s Broadway version of In The Heights, writing the script.
“Bringing Vivo to life has been an incredible artistic journey. I couldn’t ask for better creative partners than Kirk, Quiara, Alex and the entire team at Sony Animation”, Miranda said in a statement. “I’m so excited Vivo will have a home at Netflix, where kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the film’s songs and adventures again and again”.
The film also features the voices of Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Brian Tyree Henry, and Nicole Byer. It was originally set for a Friday, June 4 release, but there’s no word on when Netflix is now expected to release it.
Netflix has made a calculated effort to get more animated features onto their slate over the last year. Their latest one – The Mitchells vs. The Machines, which was also acquired from Sony – arrives on the platform this Friday.