The journey from stage to screen for In the Heights wasn’t as smooth as its creator Lin-Manuel Miranda thought it would be.
The 41-year-old songwriter, playwright and actor admitted he “was so naive” when his hit Broadway musical was optioned by Universal Pictures to be made into a feature film.
“I thought once a studio buys the rights to the movie, the movie’s getting made,” Miranda told Variety. “I didn’t know the sheer tonnage of miles between acquiring the rights and a green light.”
Miranda says he believed a movie version of his Tony Award-winning musical was imminent.
“You can find interviews of my being like, the In the Heights movie is happening any minute now!” he said.
The movie musical, which was made eventually by Warner Bros., follows Usnavi de la Vega, a small bodega owner who is working toward saving enough money to return to the Dominican Republic. Miranda played Usnavi in the original Broadway production which earned him Tony Awards for Best Musical and Best Original Score.
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The part now stars his Hamilton costar Anthony Ramos in the lead role opposite Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Melissa Barrera and Chris Jackson, another Hamilton alum.
Director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) says the movie “is a vaccine for your soul.”
In the Heights is in theaters and on HBO Max on June 11, where it’ll stream for 31 days.