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Lin-Manuel Miranda announces the starring cast for the film adaptation of In The Heights

Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace
Photo: Charley Gallay (Getty Images), JC Olivera (Getty Images)

While we’re all still playing the full Aaron Burr when it comes to a film version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway blockbuster Hamilton—that’s a “Wait For It” joke, in case it wasn’t clear—we do have some forward movement to report on the cinematic treatment of Miranda’s other big musical hit, mid-2000s Tony winner In The Heights. Miranda himself hopped on Twitter today to confirm that the movie’s biggest roles have now all been cast, with Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera, and Jimmy Smits joining the already announced Corey Hawkins and Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos.


Barrera will be best known to fans of Starz’s Vida, where she plays one of two sisters returning to their L.A. neighborhood to deal with the ramifications of their mother’s death. In Heights, she’ll be playing Vanessa, a salon worker with dreams of moving away from the play’s neighborhood setting. Grace, meanwhile, is better known as a singer-songwriter, whose music frequently reaches the upper echelons of Billboard’s Latin and Tropical charts. In The Heights will be her first major film role, placing her in the overburdened shoes of Nina, a young woman forced to deal with her family’s expectations and disapproval after coming back home from college. Smits, meanwhile, is Jimmy Smits; he’ll be playing Nina’s over-protective dad.

In The Heights—which was rescued from the messy implosion of The Weinstein Company—is being directed by Crazy Rich Asians’ Jon M. Chu.

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