“Heights” Hits The Silver Screen

Believe it or not, it’s been almost ten years since “In the Heights,” hit the stage. Finally, it’s slated to hit the big screen. The Tony Award-winning musical had previously been in development at Universal Pictures, which put it in turnaround in 2011.

Lin-Manuel Miranda may have the hottest sensation to hit the stage in years with Hamilton. But the actor, composer, rapper and writer’s In the Heights is no slouch either, having won the 2008 Tony Award for best musical.

Now, a film adaptation of the bodega-set project is in the works at The Weinstein Co. Miranda, who is producing, has parked the still-hot project with Harvey Weinstein and is hoping to make it for $15 million. Though Miranda will be heavily involved in the film, it’s unclear whether or not he will star, now that the 36-year-old is 10 years older than the character he first conceived.

In the Heights was initially set up at Universal, and after years in development, the studio opted not to make it and cut the project loose in 2011, balking at the Kenny Ortega-helmed film’s $37 million budget — a move that was met with surprise considering the success of the stage version. The show, which also spawned a Grammy Award for best musical show album, ran on Broadway from 2008-11 and toured the U.S from 2009-11. It continues to tour the world.

“As a kid from Queens, I’ve always loved bringing New York stories to film,” Weinstein said. “In the Heights and Lin-Manuel brought Washington Heights to Broadway back in 2008 and in the process turned the theater world on its head. The movie musicals of the 1950s were incredible, but In The Heights will revolutionize what movie audiences expect from the genre.“

Set in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan, the story centers on a bodega owner who has mixed feelings about closing his store and retiring to the Dominican Republic after inheriting his grandmother’s fortune.

Theater and film veteran Scott Sanders (Evita, The Color Purple) also is producing alongside Scott Sanders Prods.’ Mara Jacobs. Marc Klein (Serendipity) wrote a draft of the screenplay for Universal. Weinstein Co. is now working off of a script by Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the book for the original stage show.

“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,” said Sanders. “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.”

This article from the Hollywood Reporter, first appeared here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/lin-manuel-mirandas-heights-gets-898351

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