In the Heights movie heads to Warner Bros.
According to Deadline, Warner Bros. Pictures has secured the rights to the In the Heights movie in an enormous $50 million dollar deal to bring Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning 2008 Broadway musical to the big screen. The deal, which includes first-dollar gross participation for the filmmakers, was reached with director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2: The Streets, Jem and the Holograms), screenwriter Quiara Alegria Hudes (My America), and original star/writer/lyricist Miranda (“Hamilton,” Star Wars: The Force Awakens) in an auction situation with several competing studios including Fox, Paramount, Sony, Disney, Netflix and Apple.
The rights to In the Heights were smartly extricated from The Weinstein Company after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke last year. Chu also recently helmed Crazy Rich Asians for Warner Bros.
“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 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.
Are you looking forward to the In the Heights movie? Are you a fan of the original musical? Let us know in the comments below!