By Carla Zanoni
UPPER MANHATTAN — Fans of In the Heights, the Tony Award-winning musical, will have to hold out longer to see the hit on the silver screen, after Universal Films announced it is dropping plans to produce an adaptation of the play, according to reports.
The film was expected to feature Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and Inwood-native star of the play. But Universal decided to drop the plans, because the $37 million investment in the feature was deemed too risky when "original expectation that big Latino names would be in small roles didn't pan out," reported Deadline.com.
Miranda spoke about the film over the weekend when asked about its status by a fan during the Bago Brunch, a networking event for Upper Manhattan artists and entrepreneurs, calling the future of the film uncertain.
"I don’t know when the film will be made," he said while laughing. "That decision is like 12-feet above my pay grade."
Kenny Ortega, director of Disney's "High School Musical," was set to direct the film adaptation, which tells the story of the changing and gentrifying Washington Heights community through the life of one Dominican-American bodega owner in Washington Heights who plans to leave New York City after inheriting his grandmother’s lottery winnings.
The film was scheduled to begin shooting in New York City over the summer.
Miranda said he is "excited to explore other options to make the In the Heights movie a reality," Variety magazine reported.