Anthony Ramos, part of the original cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, is in negotiations to star in In the Heights, Warner Bros’ adaptation of Miranda’s other Tony-winning musical. Deadline has confirmed the talks, which if they pan out would see Ramos play Usnavi, the bodega owner at the center of the action in the Washington Heights-set musical. Miranda was nominated for a Tony for the role.
The musical won four Tonys in 2008 including for Best Musical, for Quiara Alegría Hudes’ book, and for Miranda’s lyrics. In the original storyline, Usnavi strikes it rich and plans to leave, until the pull of the neighborhood and the people in it give him pause. Synopsis of In The Heights movie: Residents of largely Latino Upper Manhattan neighborhood Washington Heights – a bodega owner, a college student, a taxi driver, a beauty salon worker, and an old woman – aspire to better lives as gentrification begins to take hold, and a sweltering summer power blackout brings their personal life crises to a head.
This is the first movement on cast since Deadline scooped in May that Warner Bros wrapped a $50 million deal to acquire film rights to the musical. The property was the subject of a hot auction after it was extracted from the The Weinstein Company ahead of its bankruptcy. Jon M. Chu is directing the pic, adapted by Hudes. Anthony Bregman, Mara Jacobs and Scott Sanders are producers.
Ramos played Philip Hamilton and John Laurens in Hamilton, which won 11 Tonys in 2016. He also plays Mars Blackmon in Netflix’s She’s Gotta Have It, toplined the Sundance pic Monsters and Men, and is next up in Legendary Godzilla: King of Monsters.
Variety reported the casting news first today.