'In the Heights' guy makes music with DWA


Tony-winning writer-actor Lin-Manuel Miranda has signed an overall development deal with DreamWorks Animation. As his first project, Miranda is crafting an animated musical feature with "High School Musical" scribe Peter Barsocchini.

Larry Mark will produce the untitled project. The filmmakers are keeping the story line quiet.

Miranda's Broadway brainchild "In the Heights" won 2008 Tonys for best musical and best original score. He wrote the music and lyrics and starred in the show until Feb. 15.

DreamWorks Animation co-president of production Bill Damaschke ("Over the Hedge," "Shark Tale") saw "In the Heights" off-Broadway several years ago and brought Miranda into the fold.

"I was immediately captivated by him as a performer and a writer," Damaschke said. "At DreamWorks we want to figure out a way to do an animated musical in the way Jeffrey (Katzenberg) did at Disney in the '80s. That team found a way to make an animated musical. Our plan is to do something unique and really innovative. It's been a long time since there's been an animated musical that pushed the medium forward."

Miranda, repped by Gersh and Liebman Entertainment, appeared on "The Sopranos" and "Sex and the City" and tours with Freestyle Love Supreme, the hip-hop comedy group he co-founded. (partialdiff)