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Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton has reigned as Broadway’s hottest ticket for some time, but come next Friday, it will belong to us all. The original cast filmed the movie on the same stage where it awed audiences each night back in 2016, and that production will stream exclusively on Disney+ just in time for Independence Day weekend.
Ahead of the film’s release, CinemaBlend’s own Corey Chichizola took part in a digital press conference with the Alexander Hamilton actor and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, who had an impressive achievement the stage-to-film movie can raise a glass to. In his words:
This might be the best rehearsed movie of all time. Outside maybe certain David Fincher scenes, I don’t know another movie cast that got to do literally hundreds if not thousands of performances before the cameras went on. But our job was not to think of that. Our job was to do our show.
Mind... blowing! Broadway actors often do six shows a week when part of a major production such as Hamilton, and by the time the original cast said goodbye to the Richard Rodgers Theatre to make way for the new cast, much of the original cast had been playing their roles for a year and a half. The Hamilton movie was shot over three days in June 2016, not too long before Lin-Manuel Miranda’s exit from the role to pursue additional projects, such as Moana and Mary Poppins Returns.
A typical movie involves rehearsal, but not to the degree these actors had prior to Hamilton being shot for the coming Disney+ release. Now they were not technically rehearsing for the movie all along, they were performing for a live audience every night, but still. When we press play on Hamilton next weekend, we can expect precise performances that are just not regularly captured for a movie.
As the cast has explained, the show you’ll see on Disney+ captured two live performances and one other run-through in-between without an audience. Camera were discreetly set up all around the theater and the show was executed as normal. When speaking to Hamilton’s George Washington, Christopher Jackson, Corey Chichizola asked if he felt the cameras made a difference. In Jackson's words:
No because we didn’t add anything extra for the camera. And Tommy [Kail] was very conscious and making us aware that if we just do our show the continuity is there. He knew when we were turning upstage, so he put a camera upstage and used it.
It sounds like the Disney+ Hamilton movie will genuinely capture what it may have been like to be in the room where it happens, but with close-ups. No need for any pesky binoculars for those in the nose bleed sections. Check out the trailer below:
The Hamilton movie was originally going to hit theaters next fall, but in an unexpected move it was decided the film would go straight to homes, and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s film adaptation of In the Heights will hit big screens next summer. The Hamilton playwright also has a documentary coming to Hulu in July called We Are Freestyle Love Supreme.