With Hamilton continuing to shatter box office records and ever becoming more a timely cultural monument, it’s going to be years before fans get to see the Broadway phenomenon adapted for the big screen. But we may not have to wait too long for a cinematic dose of creator Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s exuberant syncopation and breathless lyrical gymnastics thanks to the folks at The Weinstein Co.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the studio has breathed new life into a film adaptation of Miranda’s first breakout Broadway hit, In the Heights, which was originally set up at Universal with Kenny Ortega on board to direct. When Ortega’s proposed budget of $36 million was more than the studio was willing to pony up, they let the project go in 2011 — a move that was met with surprise considering the success of the show. While not an all-consuming cultural whirlwind like Hamilton has become, In the Heights earned Miranda four Tonys back in 2008 (it was nominated for thirteen), including Best Musical and Best Original Score, and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. The Weinstein Co. is hoping to make the film for a $15 million price tag.
Set in a largely Dominican neighborhood of Manhattan’s Washington Heights, the musical follows narrator Unsavi as he struggles with the idea of shutting down his bodega shop and returning to his roots in the Dominican Republic. Miranda originated the role of Unsavi in the Broadway production, though it’s uncertain if he’ll return for the film, especially considering his ever-busier schedule. Earlier today, Disney announced that Mary Poppins Returns — the sequel to the beloved classic, which is slated to star Miranda alongside Emily Blunt in the title role — is set for a 2018 Christmas release date.
Miranda will produce the In the Heights adaptation, along with theater and film veteran Scott Sanders (Evita) and Scott Sanders Productions’ Mara Jacobs. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the book for the original stage show, is on board to pen the script for Weinstein Co. (Serendipity‘s Marc Klien wrote the Universal draft).
In the meantime, Miranda is still banging out weekly performances as Alexander Hamilton, curating a tremendously interactive social media presence, and hopefully working on his next work of genius. So far, Hamilton already brought home a Grammy and a Pulitzer Prize, and is nominated for a record-breaking sixteen Tony nominations. While I’ll likely spend the rest of my life in quiet mourning over never getting to see Hamilton with the original cast, all signs point to a Lin-Manuel Miranda packed future, and that’s a mighty fine thing, indeed.