Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and composer behind the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, may be bowing out of the titular role next month, but he’s definitely moving on to bigger things. This week, news broke out that a movie adaptation of Miranda’s debut musical, In the Streets, is now in the works and will be headed by The Weinstein Company. A winner of four Tony-awards, as well as a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009, this news is something that has been demanded by fans of the original theatrical production for years, and it looks like their dreams are about to come true. While Miranda will be working heavily alongside the studio as a co-producer, whether or not he will physically star in the movie has not yet been confirmed.
Written by Miranda (believe it or not) when he was a sophomore at Wesleyan University, In the Streets tells the story of Usnavi, a bodega owner living in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. Raised by the neighborhood matriarch Abuela Claudia, Usnavi struggles with the decision of closing his grocery store down and returning to the Dominican Republic following his grandmother’s winning of the lottery. With a large cast of Latino and Dominican-American characters, all dealing with themes of working class and immigrant life, as well as the struggles that they face both personally and culturally. The show debuted on Broadway back in 2008 and ran for three years, gathering a large following and winning numerous awards, amongst them the Tony Awards for Best Musical, Original Score, Choreography and Orchestration.
Originally, plans for a feature film began back in 2008, when Universal Studios announced their plan to adapt the musical for a theatrical release. Director Kenny Ortega was set to head the film and screenwriter Marc Klein had already written a draft, however, the estimated budget for the musical was exceptionally high, set around $37 million. Universal eventually dropped the project in 2011, so here’s hoping that Weinstein manages to see the final product through, especially considering Miranda’s desire to lower the budget to a more reasonable $15 million. As for a the exact date of production, that remains to be seen, especially considering Miranda’s upcoming role in the (unnecessary) movie Mary Poppins Returns. So here’s hoping that movie lives up to its hype as well.