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‘In the Heights’ Writer Quiara Alegría Hudes to Pen Latin Music-Infused Film ‘Life Is a Carnival’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Quiara Alegria Hudes Scott Sanders Mara
Courtesy of Quiara Alegria Hudes, Scott Sanders, Mara Jacobs

Pulitzer Prize winner Quiara Alegría Hudes is set to write “Life Is a Carnival,” a Latin music-infused new film for Warner Bros.

The movie will mark her second collaboration with “In the Heights” producers Scott Sanders and Mara Jacobs after Hudes wrote the book for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical as well as the screenplay for the Jon M. Chu-directed big-screen adaptation.

“I was hungry to write a story about generations of Latinas that folded in the survival, struggle, and celebration my own elders modeled for me,” Hudes said in a statement. “The opportunity to tell such a tale with the rich traditions of salsa and Latin music, to grapple with and engage those delicious syncopations and complex sonorities — well, I couldn’t pass it up! To me, Latin music means party and protest. It means community and history. It means joy and self-determination. I’m excited to begin this new creative journey.”

Hudes’ play “Water by the Spoonful” won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2012, and her play “Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue” and “In the Heights” were finalists for the award. Her most recent musical, “Miss You Like Hell,” appeared Off Broadway at New York’s Public Theater. She founded and continues to curate Emancipated Stories, a project that features incarcerated individuals writing one-page stories about their lives.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Quiara once again, especially on this original and colorful story which celebrates the vibrancy of Latin music as a key component of the narrative,” Sanders said. “Quiara is one of the greatest storytellers of our time, and we are thrilled to have the chance to bring her unique voice to these characters. The pent-up anticipation for the release of ‘In the Heights’ demonstrates that the public is very eager to see more Latinx stories. We are grateful to our partners at Warner Bros. for sharing our vision.”

“Life Is a Carnival” will be produced under Sanders’ Purple Sand Pictures banner. Warner Bros. executive president of production Kevin McCormick will oversee the pic.

In addition to “In the Heights” and “Life Is a Carnival,” Sanders is currently developing a movie adaptation of the Tony-winning “The Color Purple” musical, which he produced on Broadway. He most recently produced the hit Broadway musical “Tootsie.” He and Jacobs are also producing an original musical movie for Universal being written by Tony-nominated “Legally Blonde” songwriters Nell Benjamin and Laurence O’Keefe.

Hudes is represented by attorney Amy Nickin at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz. Sanders is represented by UTA and attorney Erik Hyman at Paul Hastings.