Monday, 18 July 2016

Jon M. Chu set to direct In The Heights movie

After stalling in development last time, all involved with the movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegría Hudes' musical In The Heights are pushing for things to actually happen. And a big addition looks to be falling in place, with news arriving via The Hollywood Reporter that Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) in talks to direct.

The show, which had music and lyrics from Miranda and a book by Hudes, is set over the course of three days during a sweltering hot summer in New York's Washington Heights district. The characters include bodega owner Usnvavi, who narrates the show and has a big decision to make about whether to close his store and move to the Dominican Republic, Nina, a smart college student who returns home after losing her scholarship and Benny, the cab dispatcher who falls in love with her. Heights hit the Great White Way in 2008 after tryouts elsewhere, was a huge hit and ended up with four Tony Awards from 13 nominations.

With Miranda's current show Hamilton recently winning 11 Tony Awards out of a record breaking 16 nominations, there is clearly a push to capitalise on his creative name. Universal Pictures had tried to set the Heights film up back in 2011, but even though it secured Kenny Ortega (High School Musical) to direct, budget disputes  eventually sent the film into turnaround. Now Miranda and The Weinstein Company are looking to revive it, and Hudes has written a new screenplay. Chu has plenty of experience making musical movies given his experience with the Step Up series and though his last tune based film, Jem And The Holograms (2015), flopped badly, he has still got cache. Chu's latest film, Now You See Me 2, is out in cinemas now.

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