The film rights for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights have been returned to Miranda and playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes after they sought to get them back after the Harvey Weinstein scandal erupted.
According to Deadline, the rights quietly went back to them just before The Weinstein Company declared bankruptcy.
Now that the rights are back, we also have updates on the film adaptation, which is definitely back in development now. John Chu will be the director, using Hudes’ script with Miranda’s music and lyrics.
There are many films and projects left stuck right now, from a film that was set for release this year, The Upside, starring Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman and Aja Naomi King, to a long-planned Richard Pryor biopic that had Lee Daniels attached as a director and Mike Epps, Oprah Winfrey and Kate Hudson circling to star.
Before Hamilton, Miranda brought Heights (written by Hudes) to Broadway in 2008, 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 about five years later, it was revealed that The Weinstein Co. had revived the project with a reported $15 million budget. No director had been attached, but Hudes was working on the screenplay.