Lin-Manuel Miranda, Playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes Want to Pull 'In the Heights' From Weinstein Co.
"'In the Heights' deserves a fresh start in a studio where I'll feel safe," Hudes wrote in a Twitter post that was quickly endorsed by Miranda.
Amid the growing Harvey Weinstein scandal, Lin-Manuel-Miranda and playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes are calling on The Weinstein Co. to let them take the film adaptation of their Tony Award-winning musical In the Heights elsewhere.
"In the Heights is part of my heart and soul. I created it with respect, community and solidarity. I hope The Weinstein Co. has enough grace, in the wake of these revelations, to respect my stand as a woman, and to allow us to extricate In the Heights from them. In the Heights deserves a fresh start in a studio where I'll feel safe (as will my actors and collaborators)," Hudes said Thursday on Twitter. Jon M. Chu is directing the film, which is currently in development.
Not long after, Miranda weighed in on his Twitter feed, writing, "As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both."
Their plea underscores the perilous position TWC finds itself in, even with Weinstein terminated from the company. Insiders say numerous parties who have movies and television shows at TWC are worried that the venture is tarnished beyond repair following publication of stories in The New York Times and The New Yorker detailing allegations of sexual assault, rape and sexual harassment on the part of the larger-than-life mogul.
As usual, Quiara does the prose best. She speaks for us both. https://t.co/7uEDe1DqJF— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) October 12, 2017
Hoping to allay concerns, TWC co-chairman Bob Weinstein, Harvey's brother, and president/COO David Glasser are mulling a name change and have granted permission to multiple TV networks to remove the disgraced executive's name from credits. Elsewhere, Apple ditched plans for a four-show deal with TWC that included scripted miniseries about Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, Prince and Frank Sinatra, while Amazon Studios is reviewing its options regarding two high-profile TWC series, The Romanoffs and an untitled drama from David O. Russell.
"As a woman, I can no longer do business with The Weinstein Company. To those women who suffered directly at Harvey’s hands, I extend my sincerest compassion and support," Hudes wrote. "Harvey Weinstein’s sexual predation is despicable enough, but combined with his staggering power, it’s insidious, even devilish. Decades. He thrived on this. He built an empire on this. It’s been hard for me to sleep at night. My stomach is in knots."
She continued, "Harvey did not act alone. He had powerful enablers in his community and at the top tier of the criminal justice system. I hope there is an ethical investigation into Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance’s role in enabling Harvey Weinstein's [alleged] illegal behavior."
In regards to Cyrus Vance Jr., Hudes is referring to a 2015 case in which Italian model and aspiring actress Ambra Battilana Gutierrez went to the police after an encounter with Weinstein. The D.A.'s office ultimately declined to bring charges. According to a recent report in the International Business Times, David Boies, a longtime Weinstein confidante, later donated $10,000 to Vance, an elected official.
Hudes wrote the book upon which Miranda's acclaimed musical In the Heights is based. She and Miranda have long been plotting a film adaptation, with TWC picking up the project in May 2016.
Earlier in the week, Miranda joined the chorus of talent speaking out against Weinstein. "I'm as appalled and repulsed by the Weinstein news as anyone with a beating heart," the Hamilton creator tweeted Tuesday. "And forever in awe of the bravery of those who spoke out."
Sources say TWC is almost sure to delay the release of The Current War (Nov. 24), an industrial-age drama starring Benedict Cumberbatch — who likewise has lambasted Weinstein — as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse. On Jan. 2, TWC is schedule to release Paddington 2, followed by The Upside (March 9) and Mary Magdalene (March 30).
TWC did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.