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Before Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway phenomenon Hamilton became a hit, he started by composing the music and lyrics for In The Heights at just 22-years-old. The lively musical about the Hispanic-American neighborhood of Washington Heights, New York City, was a smashing success that made it to Broadway, plus stages across the world, and was nominated for 13 Tonys.
After years of development, it looks like the cameras are finally rolling on the In the Heights movie adaptation ahead of its summer 2020 release date. The big-screen adaptation is in the capable hands of Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon M. Chu.
However, the musical is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway baby, so he offered some candid words to him to wish him luck. Flip to the second slide of Jon M. Chu’s Instagram post for Miranda’s words of encouragement:
Wasn’t what you were expecting, was it? As the director recently shared, Lin-Manuel Miranda signed the cover of his script with “Don’t fuck it up” and a cute smiley face next to it. It’s the kind of message that’s blunt enough to be the perfect break a leg type of line between friends. While the playwright literally doesn’t want Chu to fuck up the adaptation of his musical, it’s a good-natured send off as shooting starts up.
Originally the film was being developed under the Weinstein Company, but when the company went into bankruptcy after Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct allegations, the movie hit a roadblock. When the rights to the project reverted back to Lin-Manuel Miranda and his playwright partner Quiara Alegría Hudes, the movie started moving forward with Warner Bros.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is coming off of a successful turn to the side of film, as a composer on Disney’s Moana in 2016 and as Jack the Lamplighter in Mary Poppins Returns. He serves only as a producer on In the Heights, though he seems to be able to take on just about every kind of role in filmmaking.
Jon M. Chu successfully turned Crazy Rich Asians into a global phenomenon last summer. The movie closed out on a $238 million worldwide box office haul, off a $30 million production budget. The romantic-comedy was nominated for two Golden Globes and also propelled its stars Constance Wu, Henry Golding, and Awkwafina into A-List movie stars who are moving on to even more high-profile projects.
The Crazy Rich Asians stars are set to return in two more sequels directed by Chu. They will film back-to-back in 2020 after his present focus on In the Heights shifts. The musical’s cast includes Hamilton star Anthony Ramos as the lead role of Usnavi. Joining him are Marc Anthony, NYPD Blue star Jimmy Smits, Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins, Orange is the New Black’s Dascha Polanco, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Stephanie Beatriz.
In the Heights is expected to hit theaters on June 26, 2020.