Before “Hamilton” went big and overshadowed everything that came before, actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda already was a bright star in Broadway thanks to his earlier musical “In the Heights,” first performed in 2005 and reaching the Great White Way in 2008. Thankfully more than enough people remember this production, which helps because it is being adapted.

In the Heights” will be getting a big-screen treatment as an upcoming movie for the year 2020, from Warner Bros. Pictures. Miranda, as expected, is part of the team of producers, and a rough cast has already been formed.

There is one surprise addition in the form of singer-actor Marc Anthony in a surprise role.

Unexpected addition

CNN reports that Lin-Manuel Miranda announced the joining of Marc Anthony to the cast of the film remake of his Broadway musical “In the Heights.” On his official Twitter page, Miranda revealed that Marc Anthony will be portraying the father of one of the principal characters of the narrative, that of Sonny de la Vega (to be played on the film by Gregory Diaz). It is interesting because Sonny’s father was a non-entity in the original musical. This could, however, be seen as a means by which the production team could expand the scope of the storyline beyond the two-act structure of the stage version.

That sort of additional content is something that might be necessary for “In the Heights” to become an average-length movie.

At the very least it will be in good hands with the slated director: none other than Jon M. Chu. While he may be more easily remembered lately for “Crazy Rich Asians,” he has had his hand a directing musical fare for cinema, such as two of the “Step Up” sequels, the Justin Bieber concert movie “Believe,” and notable cinematic bomb “Jem and the Holograms.”

A neighborhood story

Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda, “In the Heights” tells of the lives and trials of a community of Dominican-American residents in New York City’s “Washington Heights” neighborhood.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the primary cast will definitely include some names from the Broadway circuit that was one of its original homes. Daphne Rubin-Vega plays the salon owner Daniela, and she is joined by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” star Jessica Beatriz as Carla, Dascha Polanco from “Orange is the New Black” as Cuca, as well as Anthony Ramos and Corey Hawkins. Marc Anthony is just the latest cast member The plot involves a Heights bodega owner that receives an inheritance from his native Dominican Republic, making him choose between returning to a homeland that he barely remembers, or staying where he already is.

Warner Bros. is planning to release “In the Heights” in June 2020.