Lin-Manuel Miranda is certainly *the man* right now, thanks in large part to his smash Broadway musical, “Hamilton,” which continues to win over new fans who discover it.
But before “Hamilton,” Miranda brought another musical to Broadway in March 2008 titled “In the Heights,” which is set over the course of three days, involving an ensemble cast of characters in the largely Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights in New York City.
After productions in Connecticut (2005) and Off-Broadway (2007), the show opened in a Broadway production in March 2008, where it was nominated for 13 Tony Awards, winning four: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Choreography (Andy Blankenbuehler), and Best Orchestrations (Alex Lacamoire and Bill Sherman).
It also won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, and was nominated for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
It didn’t take long for Hollywood to notice, and in November 2008, Universal Pictures announced that they planned to adapt the musical as a feature film for release in 2011. Kenny Ortega was set to direct the film, which was slated to begin filming in summer 2011. However, the project stalled when Universal opted not to produce it due to budgetary concerns.
Skip ahead 5 years to today, to news that The Weinstein Co. has now revived the project with a reported $15 million budget slapped on it, which is about half of what Universal would’ve made it for.
At this time, Miranda’s involvement looks like it’ll be mostly behind-the-scenes, producing, etc, as it’s not clear whether he’ll star in the film as well (he starred in the Broadway show, but that was almost a decade ago).
There’s no director attached at this time, nor is there an ETA. But the script adaptation has already been written (by Marc Klein) although this is when it was set up at Universal. So it’s likely that a new writer will be brought on to rewrite it, or maybe start from scratch.
Scott Sanders (“Evita,” “The Color Purple”) is also producing via his Scott Sanders Productions, along side Mara Jacobs.
“It’s been nearly 10 years since In the Heights opened on Broadway, revealing, for the first time, Lin Manuel’s ground-breaking artistry to the theater world,” Sanders told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’m thrilled to be working with Lin and Harvey to share with audiences that same authentic sound and story from the Broadway stage to the big screen.”
Marc Klein (Serendipity) wrote a draft of the screenplay for Universal, but a new writer will likely be brought in to take another crack at the material.