Rapper, businessman, and investor Jay Z (a lead producer of Broadway's Fela!) will be among the producers of the film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony-winning musical In the Heights, according to Page Six.
The Weinstein Company’s Harvey Weinstein, who is producing the movie musical with theatre producer Scott Sanders, announced the news at his February 26 pre-Oscars party, which included a medley of tunes from In the Heights performed by Cynthia Erivo, Christopher Jackson, and Corbin Bleu and introduced by Hamilton’s Miranda. Deadline.com reported in September 2016 that Jay Z and Weinstein had “signed an exclusive first-look deal … to generate movies and scripted and unscripted TV.”
Variety previously reported that Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the libretto for In the Heights, will pen the screenplay, which will be directed by Jon M. Chu. Miranda is not expected to play the role he created on Broadway, Usnavi, although he may appear as a different character.
Devised by actor-writer Miranda when he was a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the show went through many revisions before it was commercially produced Off-Broadway in 2007—with Miranda in the lead role.
Following further refinements to the script and score, the producers moved the show to Broadway, where it opened March 9, 2008. The production played 29 previews and 1,184 regular performances at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. It won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Musical and recouped its investment.
Miranda, who was also nominated as Best Actor in a Musical, rejoined the cast for the final two weeks of the Broadway run as Usnavi, a Dominican bodega owner who guides us through a couple of days in the life of friends, family, and lovers in the Latino-populated northern Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights.