Kenny Ortega to helm 'In the Heights'

Universal is adapting the Tony-winning Broadway musical

Kenny Ortega, the director of the "High School Musical" movies and "Michael Jackson's This Is It," is attached to direct Universal's adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical "In the Heights."

Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed and wrote the musical as well as starred in it, is set to star in and produce the big-screen adaptation. Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the play's book, is writing the script.

"Heights" explored three days in New York City's Dominican-American neighborhood of Washington Heights and featured hip-hop, salsa, merengue and soul music. It was nominated for 13 Tonys, winning the award for best musical.

Meryl Poster will produce with original Broadway producers Kevin McCollum, Jeffrey Seller and Jill Furman Willis serving as executive producers.

Universal's executive vp of production Tracy Falco and director of development Maradith Frenkel will oversee the project for the studio.

Ortega, whose "This Is It" danced its way to $252 million worldwide, is repped by Paradigm.
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