Over the past few years, actor/writer Lin-Manuel Miranda has become a household name. After making a name for himself in the world of theater, his Tony Award winning musical Hamilton became a pop culture sensation and gripped the nation. While his earlier musical In The Heights will get a movie adaptation this summer, Hamilton is also heading to theaters-- just not in the way you might have expected.
Hamilton is a hip hop musical about focusing on American history and the founding fathers-- specifically the title character Alexander Hamilton. It remains the hottest (and most expensive) ticket on Broadway, and won a whopping 11 Tony Awards including Best Musical. A movie seemed like an obvious choice, and Hamilton will indeed arrive in theaters in October 2021. But rather than a new movie, it'll be a filmed performance of the Broadway show featuring the original cast.
This announcement arrived today courtesy of Disney, as the House of Mouse will be making the Hamilton movie into a reality. Disney reached an agreement with Lin-Manuel Miranda to distribute the musical for a wide theatrical release in both the US and Canada. There's been talks about Hamilton's future at the movies for years now, but new announcement makes it a reality-- complete with a release date.
Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda won't be filming any new footage for the Hamilton movie, or reuniting the original cast. In fact, the movie is technically already in the can, as the original Broadway cast of Hamilton filmed a complete performance before any of the actors moved on from the show. So the House of Mouse might simply need to help with distribution, marketing and editing.
Lin-Manuel Miranda made a statement about the new partnership with Disney, and Hamilton's eventual run in theaters. As he put it,
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. 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.
Clearly Lin-Manuel Miranda is happy with how the Hamilton cast was captured during its filmed performance years ago. And now the many fans around the country who listened to the cast recording and couldn't afford/travel to see the original cast will be able to see Hamilton in its full capacity. We just have to... Wait For It. Sorry I had to.
Lin-Manuel Miranda's relationship with Disney has grown steadily throughout the years, as he's worked on a bunch of major projects for the House of Mouse. He wrote the music for Moana and the new cantina song in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, while starring opposite Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns. And now Hamilton will mark the latest collaboration.