The director had been due to start work on his first project since Michael Jackson concert documentary This Is It by filming his version of the Tony Award-winning stage show in New York this summer (11).
But bosses at Universal Pictures have now scrapped the production amid rumours of concerns over the $37 million (£23 million) budget, according to Deadline.com.
Ortega has confirmed the bad news, but insists he hopes to find another backer for the project. He says in a statement, “I have had nothing but a positive experience with Universal Pictures. We weren’t able to make the film version of In The Heights together, but I’m looking forward to working with them in the near future. Moving forward, I’m excited to explore other options to make the In The Heights movie a reality.”