One Coco Actor Wants To Join The Broadway Cast, But in A Totally Different Role

Disney is the undisputed king of the franchise. When the studio finds a film that’s successful you can be certain that it will be followed by merchandise, theme park attractions, sequels, and eventually remakes. Another outlet Disney has found to double dip on success is by taking its films to Broadway. We’ve seen Beauty and the Beast and Frozen become sensations on the stage and recently we learned that Pixar’s Coco is currently being developed as a Broadway production, and one of the film’s co-stars is looking to return but in a much bigger role. Jamie Camil wants to play Ernesto de la Cruz.

Jamie Camil played Papa, the father of protagonist Miguel. It wasn’t a particularly big role, and it didn’t give him the opportunity to do much singing, but we know that the Schmigadoon star is fully capable of giving a Broadway-caliber performance, He's been there before. I caught up with the actor on the Red Carpet before the opening ceremony of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood and asked him his thought on Coco’s Broadway ambitions. Not only does he want to join the show, but he’ll also go to extreme lengths if it will get him one of the film’s lead roles. He said…

I am willing to give a lung or a kidney to play Ernesto de la Cruz. .I've been on it for the past month, You have no idea. Bobby, Kristen Lopez, guys you know there's no one else [that could play] de la Cruz.

While Camil is certainly having some fun, (don't give up a lung for a gig that requires singing) it sounds like he really has been lobbying for the role, as he says he’s been talking to musical powerhouses Robert and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who wrote the original songs in the film version of Coco and are apparently spearheading the Broadway version, which will, of course, involve the creation of several brand new songs to turn the movie into a full musical on the stage.

Honestly? I feel like Jamie Camil may be on to something here. He looks more like a real-life version of Ernesto de la Cruz than Benjamin Bratt, who played the role in the Pixar movie, though he didn't do all of his own singing. We know Camil can sing, so if he wants the role then honestly he should at least be considered. 

The biggest hurdle, at least right now, however, maybe the fact that there’s no guarantee that Coco will ever actually make it to Broadway. While Disney has seen some massive hits on the stage, not every attempt that Disney has made has actually made it to a Broadway stage. An adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was performed in a few places but never arrived in New York. A Broadway version of Hercules has also seemingly faded away without getting all the way to its destination. Though, with Hercules getting the live-action re-make treatment soon, that one may not be quite dead yet. 

Depending on where in development Coco is it could be years before it arrives on Broadway, if ever, Still. At least the Lopezs know they have one very interested party to play a key role, and they could do a heck of a lot worse. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.