The trailer for In the Heights, the breakthrough musical from Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, hit the internet earlier this week, delighting theater kids young and old.
The screenplay for In the Heights was written by West Philadelphia born and raised Quiara Alegría Hudes, a graduate of Central High School. Her step-aunt is Councilperson María Quiñones-Sánchez.
“Philadelphia is the living, beating heart of my work,” Hudes told the Inquirer in 2012.
Hudes also wrote the original book for In the Heights and was nominated for a Tony for her efforts.
In 2012, Hudes won the Pulitzer Prize for her play Water by the Spoonful, a tale of a soldier’s return from war, life at a Philly sandwich shop, and struggle with addiction. David Rooney of the Hollywood Reporter called the win “an upset that went against industry predictions.”
In the Heights had a long road to the screen. Universal, which had owned them for years, released the rights in 2011. The Weinstein Co. picked them up in May 2016, right about the time Hamilton became a Broadway smash.
In 2018, after Weinstein Company head Harvey Weinstein had been accused of sexual assault, Hudes posted a lengthy Twitter message declaring that, “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.” Miranda tweeted: “I’m as appalled and repulsed by the Weinstein news as anyone with a beating heart. And forever in awe of the bravery of those who spoke out.”
The Weinstein Co. returned the rights without fanfare to the authors shortly before declaring bankruptcy. As a result, Miranda and Hudes were able to find new funders for their film, which ended up being Warner Bros.