A good property doesn’t stay single for long. At least that’s the case when it concerns Tony award-winning Broadway impresario and all-around amazing human being Lin-Manuel Miranda. Just one month after the Nuyorican actor/creator got the rights back to his first show, In the Heights, from the bankrupt Weinstein Company, it’s been announced that Warner Bros. is close to securing a deal to have the film produced under their banner.
Warners is supposedly offering $50 million to secure the rights to the adaptation. Jon M. Chu, the director attached to the film, along with Miranda and co-creator Quiara Alegría Hudes, pitched the adaptation directly to various studio buyers via phone. All the major studios – including Paramount, Disney and Netflix – were part of the fierce bidding auction. Hudes reportedly showed potential investors the script for the feature and the studios did their part to convince the trio of their worthiness, reportedly dressing up their backlots to look like the stageplay’s sets and offering up their marketing teams to pitch how the film would be sold to audiences.
In the Heights tells the story of a bodega owner from Washington Heights who dreams of leaving his hometown after he wins the lottery. Unfortunately, leaving home is harder than he expects when the neighborhood finds out about his good fortune. The musical, which celebrated its 10-year Broadway anniversary this February, won five Tony awards and launched Miranda as the Great White Way’s new wunderkind.
Honestly, fans don’t care which studio ends up getting In the Heights; they just want to see Miranda’s characters (and songs) come to life on-screen. Broadway musical adaptations are fickle things, either coming out quickly or long past their prime. Miranda’s cache in Hollywood has only increased. Since the show premiered he’s created Hamilton and worked extensively with Disney, both as a performer and composer, yet his two Broadway babies have yet to see big-screen adaptations. In the Heights could certainly be the musical extravaganza for Hollywood that they’ve yet to see, if only it happened sooner rather than later.
If Warner Bros. closes the deal look for In the Heights to finally get a release date, possibly making it ready for release in 2020.