Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical Hamilton may have scooped up 11 Tony Awards at the ceremony last night but his previous play is receiving the Hollywood buzz. Acclaimed musical In The Heights is to be adapted for the big screen after a long time in development and it looks like the potential director could be: Jon M. Chu.
Based on the book by American playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, with music and lyrics by Miranda, the Broadway show tells the story of several individuals living in the largely Latino neighbourhood of Washington Heights, New York City. With a nod to West Side Story, this neighbourhood play fits neatly in the hip hop musical genre.
As their community stands on the brink of change, we follow narrator Usnavi – who owns a small bodega and dreams of returning to Dominican Republic – and Vanessa, his love interest, who is struggling to afford her own place away from her alcoholic mother. Also featured is Nina, a smart Stanford University student who reluctantly returns home after dropping out and Benny, the cab dispatcher who falls in love with her.
Universal tried to set the ball rolling with an In The Heights film back in 2011. Despite it securing Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) to direct, disputes over budget stalled pre-production but now Miranda and The Weinstein Company are looking to revive it with Hudes on screenplay duty.
Chu most recently helmed sequel Now You See Me 2, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco and Woody Harrelson and is signed on to direct the third instalment. But when it comes to the street-dance genre, he's certainly got his fair share of experience with previous success directing the two movies in the Step Up franchise.