It is about hip-hop, salsa, meringue and soul music in New York City's Dominican-American Washington Heights neighborhood. Now that he passed on 'Footloose,' choreography icon Kenny Ortega has found his next project: a movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical 'In the Heights' for Universal.
It is about hip-hop, salsa, meringue and soul music in New York City's Dominican-American Washington Heights neighborhood.
Ortega, who hit monster success in recent years with the 'High School Musical' trilogy and 'Michael Jackson's This Is It' -- though the latter was of course marred by the singer's sudden death -- had been attached to direct 'Footloose,' to star Chace Crawford and Julianne Hough. Ortega dropped out in October due to budgetary and creative reasons.
The question becomes: What will an 'In the Heights' movie adaptation from Ortega look like?
Ortega has a diverse resume of mega-pop projects, and has worked with some of the biggest entertainers in music, including Madonna and Cher. He was a choreographer on the seminal 'Dirty Dancing,' Jackson's Dangerous and HIStory tours, and even directed 'The Cheetah Girls 2' and 1993's 'Hocus Pocus.'
He has a capable hand at productions that use teams of dancers, as was the case with 'High School Musical,' a talent which will come in handy in 'Heights.'
Ortega is also known for his deft hand working with young people, which should help create a 'HSM'-esque family-like community on 'Heights.'
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who composed, wrote and starred in the musical, which won 2008's Best Musical Tony Award, will star in and produce the big-screen adaptation. Quiara Alegria Hudes, who wrote the play's book, is writing the script. Meryl Poster ('Chicago') will produce the movie with the team of three original Broadway producers.
Will you go see Ortega's 'In the Heights'?