Kenny Ortega to Direct In the Heights

High School Musical and This is It director Kenny Ortega has found his calling. He dropped the upcoming Footloose remake, and has opted to tackle the feature adaptation of In the Heights instead. The popular Broadway musical is a Tony award winning production, and according to BFDealmemo Ortega wants to make it a box office hit.

Universal has acquired the rights to the 2008 musical that covers three days in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, where a bodega owner who inherited his grandfather’s lottery windfall plots his retirement to a Dominican Republic beach. As he bids farewell to his customers on the block, he becomes conflicted about leaving behind a group that has become family.

Creator and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda is attached to reprise his starring role in the film, that will also feature his music and lyrics. Universal has gone crazy with their recent film acquisitions. In the Heights is just one of many musicals they have on their developing slate. The studio plans on moving full speed ahead with their sequel to Mamma Mia, as well as a screen version of the Broadway smash Wicked.

Ortega is turning into another Rob Marshall, with these high profile musicals. Unlike a lot of film adaptations, In the Heights might be an exception to the remake rule. It will include the original lead from the stage production, along with the same music, which is a good place for it to start. The real question is, who’s going to fill out the rest of the cast?

What do you think about Kenny Ortega taking on In the Heights?