‘Hamilton’ Is Going To Become A Movie Thanks To Disney Buying The Rights
Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit musical “Hamilton” if finally becoming a movie. Thanks to Disney and its determination to own everything you love, the filmed version of Hamilton, starring the original cast, will hit movie theaters nationwide next year.
Unlike many other Disney films, this won’t be an adaptation.
The just-announced that the “Hamilton” film won’t be re-casted or adapted to the screen. Instead, the film will actually be a theatrical release of a filmed Broadway performance.
Filmed on stage at The Richard Rodgers Theatre, Disney’s “Hamilton” will feature Lin-Manuel Miranda himself.
Back in 2016, when “Hamilton” was a new Broadway phenomenon, the show’s creative team decided to film the musical before the original cast departed. “We’re filming the original cast before I go. WE GOT YOU,” Miranda tweeted back then, adding in a second tweet, “What are we doing with that footage? No idea. Throwing it in a vault at Gringotts for a bit probly. But we’re getting it.”
In that original cast, Miranda played the title character, U.S. Treasury Secretary and Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
The cast also included Leslie Odom Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Christopher Jackson, Jonathan Groff, Phillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, and Anthony Ramos (who is next starring in the movie version of Miranda’s previous musical, “In the Heights”). Odom Jr., Diggs, and Goldsberry all won Tony Awards for their performances, while Miranda took home the best score, best book, and best musical prizes.
Rights to the stage film went for a whopping $75 million, in a deal brokered by Endeavor Content on behalf of Miranda, according to Variety.
Endeavor shopped the project around Hollywood, presenting to studios including Warner Bros. But ultimately, Disney bagged it.
The splurge was well worth it, “Hamilton” has become a true cultural phenomenon.
As reporter Mike Fleming Jr. put it, “I can’t think of an acquisition of a finished film that has gone for more money than this one.” But the investment seems logical; the theatrical run seems guaranteed to draw lots of Hamilfans, especially those who have for whatever reason not been able to see the stage production. And afterward? It’ll make great a great addition to the studio’s streaming service, Disney+.
“Hamilton” debuted on Broadway in 2015 and continues to be an important play across the country.
Miranda’s musical play won numerous accolades since it’s debut, including 11 Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. “Lin-Manuel Miranda created an unforgettable theater experience and a true cultural phenomenon, and it was for good reason that “Hamilton” was hailed as an astonishing work of art,” Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. “All who saw it with the original cast will never forget that singular experience. And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share this same Broadway experience with millions of people around the world.”
Sold-out shows and astronomical ticket prices and sales to the side, the show has been praise for revitalizing and revolutionizing Broadway as a whole.
Celebrities Seeing Hamilton became a miniature entertainment beat in its own right. Total Broadway grosses to date for Hamilton stand at $636.5 million, with every performance playing to capacity. That figure does not include massive revenues from North American tours and the hit London production.
Lin-Manuel Miranda fell in love with musicals thanks to Disney.
“I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard Ashman-Alan Menken Disney collaborations —‘The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beauty and The Beast,’ ‘Aladdin,’” Miranda said. “I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of ‘Hamilton’—a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater. We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of ‘Hamilton’ to the largest audience possible.”
Miranda originated the role off-Broadway and on Broadway, staying with the show through July, 2016.
As Hamilton, Miranda was the first person to perform now-iconic songs like “My Shot,” which he first performed at a 2009 White House event. He was succeeded on Broadway by Javier Muñoz, who had been his alternate up until that point. As of this writing, the role is played on Broadway by Jimmie “JJ” Jeter. Other current A.Hams include Joseph Morales, who plays the role on the “Philip” tour, Edred Utomi on the “Angelica” tour, Julius Thomas III in San Francisco, and Karl Queensborough in London.
Hamilton is set to hit theaters on Oct. 15, 2021.