HBO and Neil Patrick Harris to celebrate 25th anniversary of Rent with Revolution Rent film
Executive produced by the It's a Sin star, the documentary covers director Andy Señor Jr. staging the iconic musical in Cuba.
In the new HBO documentary Revolution Rent announced Monday, the camera follows the process of Señor Jr. travelling to Cuba and directing a production of the show, which will be the country's first Broadway musical produced by an American company in more than 50 years.
With Señor Jr. being of Cuban heritage himself, the film will also explore his personal journey being in his exiled parents' homeland, and his family's complex relationship with the country. As part of the film's announcement, he says "When we began working on the production of 'Rent' in Cuba and documenting the journey along the way, I had no idea how the story would unfold and that our documentary would end up on HBO," and adds "I am beyond thrilled to share this deeply personal and magical moment in our lives and I'm grateful that Jonathan Larson's words and music are still making such an impact, 25 years later."
Co-director Alvarez also mentions "Traveling to Cuba to make this film was incredibly challenging yet rewarding in ways I never imagined," and mentions the movie "is about creativity in the face of adversity and the healing powers of human connection."
Covering the production itself will include everything from the audition process to closing night, highlighting all the highs and lows the cast and crew encounter. There's also significant thought given to reimagining the show in a Cuban context, with Señor Jr. mining his family background.
Harris, who is executive producing the documentary, has had a lot of past experience with the musical, with a notable turn as Mark in the late 90s National Tour for the production, and a gig directing the 2010 production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl that starred Vanessa Hudgens. He prefaces that part of that history with the show is shared with Señor Jr., before concluding that the documentary project "is a continuation of our journey as well as a tribute to the power of theater and its ability to transform lives."
Revolution Rent premieres on HBO on Tuesday, June 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.