Disney's Teaming Lin-Manuel Miranda With Zootopia Co-Director For Secret Animated Film


Lin-Manuel Miranda is the hottest name in music right now and following his success on Broadway, he's been getting involved in movies in a big way. He's also been getting involved with Disney in a big way, and now we can add yet another project to the list. You'll hear Miranda's music when Disney's next animated feature, Moana, hits screens next week, but apparently, Disney was so happy with the work he did that they've already got him in the early stages of a secret project with Zootopia director Byron Howard.

That's the fun thing about working with someone and having it go well --- you go, 'Okay, what else can we do?' [John] Lasseter took me aside and said, 'I have an idea: Here's Byron, and you guys should start talking.' ... We literally haven't gotten in the room yet, but we're plotting.

And it could very well be a long time before we discover what they're plotting. As Vulture points out, Lin-Manuel Miranda had been working on the music for Moana since before anybody knew what Hamilton was. He's become a global superstar in the meantime, which has been keeping him fairly busy. And based on the fact that Moana had him busy for years, whatever these two are working on could take just as long.

While Zootopia's other co-director, Rich Moore, is currently working on the upcoming 2018 sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, Byron Howard doesn't have anything specific on his plate that we're aware of. It's not clear from Lin-Manuel Miranda's comment if Disney Animation head John Lasseter knew that Howard any specific idea that would make Miranda a great collaborator, or if Lassiter just figured putting these two brilliant people in a room together would be bound to create something amazing. Of course, Miranda says they haven't actually gotten into a room together yet, but we figure that will happen eventually.

Of course, the reason that Lin-Manuel Miranda may be too busy to sit down and work on this project is because he's already doing a bunch of other things for Disney. He'll be starring alongside Emily Blunt in Disney's Mary Poppins Returns, which is scheduled to start filming early next year. He's also signed on to work on Disney's live-action version of The Little Mermaid, in a capacity that apparently has yet to be decided, a film so close to his heart that he named his son Sebastian. Before that, of course, we'll be treated to his music in Moana.

As a fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda, as well as Byron Howard, I can't wait to see what these two create together. Disney's music is as popular as their animation and with somebody like Miranda on board for multiple projects, it would seem that Disney is poised to produce great new music for a long time to come.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.