Jon M. Chu in talks to direct Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights movie
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2: The Streets, Jem and the Holograms) is in talks to direct an In the Streets movie adaptation for The Weinstein Company, based on the hit Broadway show by Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton,” Star Wars: The Force Awakens).
Chu, whose Now You See Me 2 just opened in theaters everywhere today, appeared on this week’s Most Craved where he talked to our hosts about directing an upcoming musical.
“Heights” explored three days in New York City’s Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights and featured hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. It was nominated for 13 Tonys, winning the award for Best Musical. Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the book for the original play, penned the current screenplay.
The film was previously set up at Universal Pictures until they pulled the plug in 2011 over director Kenny Ortega’s proposed budget of $37 million, as well as an inability to attract top talent for roles in the film. With “Hamilton” a runaway Broadway success and Miranda slowly becoming a household name, attracting talent may not be as difficult this time.
However, unlike the previous iterations on Broadway and at Universal, Miranda (age 35) may not play the lead role of Washington Heights bodega owner Usnavi, as he may be a little too old now. Although he has yet to make a decision on that front, Miranda will produce the film based on his work on the music and lyrics for the show, which garnered him a 2008 Tony Award for Best Original Score and a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Scott Sanders is also producing alongside Mara Jacobs.