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Lin-Manuel Miranda Hints at ‘In the Heights’ Delay: ‘A Lot Remains to Be Done’

Lin-Manuel Miranda attends the premiere of
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutte

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical adaptation of “In the Heights” could struggle to be ready in time for its big-screen debut, currently set for June 26, if coronavirus concerns delay post-production, the Tony winner suggested Sunday night.

Miranda — in a livestream interview with Rosie O’Donnell that was billed as a remounting of her successful daytime talk show — said there was “a lot that remains to be done” on the film, directed by “Crazy Rich Asians” filmmaker Jon M. Chu.

“We were literally recording the score when all of this started happening,” Miranda told O’Donnell, referencing the spread of COVID-19 and its paralysis on film and television production. “There’s a lot that remains to be done on that movie. We were finishing the score and the mixing and just getting the music exactly right.”

Miranda made it clear that his heart is set on a splashy theatrical release for the Warner Bros. film.

“I’m really hopeful that that’s something we all get to watch in the theaters together — when it’s time, and no sooner, to go out,” Miranda said.

The project has been in the early awards conversation, and three months would be a decent amount of time to complete post-production if coronavirus had not resulted in a statewide shelter-in-place order in California.

Warner Bros. had no immediate comment on Miranda’s remarks.

Warner Bros. is one of numerous studios in the past week to make a major shift in how and when films are viewed — by dramatically pulling up the home entertainment and streaming video releases of big films. Margot Robbie’s “Birds of Prey” and Ben Affleck’s “The Way Back” were made available for purchase at home months earlier than expected. Disney pushed out Pixar’s “Onward” just two weeks after it premiered in theaters.

Universal lead the pack, unleashing “The Hunt,” “Emma,” and “The Invisible Man” to digital platforms early. Movie theater owners in America traditionally expect 90 days of exclusivity with new films before they move to different market windows, like video-on-demand and streaming runs on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.