Kenny Ortega to Direct Silver Screen Adaptation of "In the Heights"

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Could we be any more psyched about this?!? I think not! Word on the street is that Kenny Ortega (of High School Musical and This Is It fame) has been hired by Universal Pictures to helm the big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda's ground breaking musical, In the Heights.

As if the fact that Miranda single-handedly Latinized the Great White (wink, wink) Way wasn't enough, now he's bringing his power house musical—which blends salsa, hip hop and old school Broadway razzle dazzle together for one of the most entertaining shows out there—to Hollywood.

Ortega is thrilled to be working on the project, telling Variety, “It’s a project so near to my heart that when I went in and pitched myself, I told the executives at Universal that they were not going to find a guy who has more of a life connection to that story,” Ortega said. “That they awarded me this job is one of the most exciting things that has happened to me in my life. I’ve seen the show six times on Broadway since it opened, several times when Lin played the lead role. He blew me away with his presence and charisma.”

Miranda is signed on to reprise his starring role as Usnavi, a young bodega owner chasing the American dream and Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the book for the show, is writing the script for the film. Ortega, a product of Spanish and Cuban immigrant parents says that the musical struck a chord with him and made him nostalgic, “We struggled, and the hopes, dreams, music and love of culture sustained us, and forged who I am,” Ortega explains. “I had the same aspirations as the young character in the musical.”

Are you excited about In the Heights heading to the silver screen?

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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