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Hamilton has been a worldwide phenomenon for about half a decade now, but outside of listening to the cast album or catching certain musical numbers televised, the remixed tale of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton has been strictly limited to the stage. But that changes next year, as you’ll finally have your shot to catch Hamilton on the big screen, and Disney reportedly didn’t skimp on purchasing the worldwide film rights to it.
It was announced yesterday that a Hamilton movie is heading to theaters in late 2021, only rather than being a traditional cinematic adaptation, this will be a filmed performance of the Broadway show featuring the original cast, including the man responsible for the hit production, Lin-Manuel Miranda. So how much did it cost to be the one to released this filmed version of the Hamilton play? According to Deadline, $75 million.
This is a large chunk of change, and quite possibly the most money ever spent on a completed film. However, considering the Mouse House’s deep pockets and the continuing popularity of Hamilton, that will undoubtedly be money well spent. As most of you know all too well, it’s not easy to acquire a ticket to see Hamilton on stage, be it because they sell out quickly or because each ticket costs hundreds of dollars (back when Lin-Manuel Miranda and the original cast were still performing, tickets were going for around $500 a pop).
Now anyone who’s missed out on seeing Hamilton, or did catch it and would like to experience it again, will be able to do so at their local theater, and all it’ll cost you is what you’d dish out for a normal movie ticket… plus any concessions that catch your eye. That’s still significantly cheaper than paying to see it on Broadway or while it tours. And yes, watching a play is a different experience than watching a movie, but looking at the bottom line, it’s a good bet people will turn out in droves to see this.
This version of Hamilton that’ll be shown on the big screen will mash together portions of three stage performances, as well as some setup shots without an audience. All this was shot in 2016, two weeks before the original cast departed, and Tommy Kail directed both what unfolded on stage and the movie itself.
With 11 Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama under its belt, there’s no question that Hamilton has had an enormous impact on pop culture in the years since it debuted on Broadway. And with Disney already reigning supreme with its Marvel, Star Wars, animated and remake offerings, scoring the rights to Hamilton allows the company to corner another area of the cultural zeitgeist. Deadline also mentioned that once Hamilton is done in theaters, it’ll be added to Disney+ (which is offering a seven-day free trial), so it’ll be interesting to see how many subscribers the streaming service draws from that in 2022.