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Kenny Ortega, director of Michael Jackson's 'This Is It,' to tackle film version of 'In the Heights'

December 15, 2009 | 10:50 am


One plum directing gig sure can lead to another.

Kenny Ortega, who directed the Michael Jackson documentary "This Is It," has signed on to direct the film version of the Tony-winning Broadway musical "In the Heights," Playbill reports. No release dates (or even start dates) have been announced yet, but the play's star, composer, lyricist and writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda, is also on board to act in the movie.

"In the Heights" opened on Broadway in March 2008 and is still running at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. The play, which tells the story of a working-class community in New York's ethnically diverse Washington Heights neighborhood, won the Tony Award for best musical that year.

The national tour of "In the Heights" is scheduled to play at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood from June 22 to July 11 as part of the Broadway/LA series. It will play at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa from Aug. 3 to 15.

A documentary about the making of the Broadway production aired on PBS' "Great Performances" series earlier this year.

Ortega, who is also a choreographer, has directed the "High School Musical" movies as well as numerous television shows. "This is It" has so far grossed $252 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

-- David Ng

Photo: Lin Manuel-Miranda and the cast of "In the Heights." Credit: Joan Marcus / Thirteen/WNET