How does a mega-smash hit Broadway musical about one of our nation’s most overlooked founding fathers go on to reach an even bigger audience? By teaming up with the most successful movie studio in the world. Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda will bring a never-before-seen filmed performance of the original Hamilton cast stage production to the big screen next year.
Viewers in the U.S. and Canada will get a chance on October 21, 2021, to do what so many of us were unable to do when Hamilton first came to Broadway. They’ll see the original casts’ performance. Disney reached a distribution agreement with the show’s producers to release a recording made in 2016.
This will not be a new cinematic version (which we’re probably still many years away from getting). It consists of recordings done during the original Broadway run. Exactly what it will look like though is unclear. The statement announcing the deal said this will mark a “leap forward in the art” of live capture. It promises to transport viewers “into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way.” Disney says it combines “the best elements of live theater and film.” We also like the part where we will be able to get tickets without having to sell a kidney. That’s going to be especially nice.
“We are thrilled for fans of the show, and new audiences across the world, to experience what it was like on stage—and in the audience—when we shot this at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016. We wanted to give everyone the same seat, which is what this film can provide,” said director Thomas Kail, who is also one of the musical’s producers.
Original Broadway cast members who will also appear alongside Miranda in the film include:
- Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson
- Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler
- Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr
- Christopher Jackson as George Washington
- Jonathan Groff as King George
- Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton
- Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds
- Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan and James Madison
- Anthony Ramos as John Laurens and Philip Hamilton
The “movie” will also feature: Carleigh Bettiol, Ariana DeBose, Hope Easterbrook, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Elizabeth Judd, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, Seth Stewart, and Ephraim Sykes.
Disney’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger said, “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. 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.”
Live stage productions are notoriously hard to film well. It’s hard not losing some of the magic in the transfer. Will that happen here? We don’t know. But we’ve listened to the soundtrack roughly 12 millions times and that hasn’t happened yet. So we doubt many Hamilton fans will throw away this shot.
Featured Image: Joan Marcus