Broadway’s hottest ticket has long been Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, a rap musical about America’s Founding Fathers through the eyes of Alexander Hamilton. While this year has been a tragic year for the theater industry, there’s been a bright spot over on Disney+. The streaming service surprised subscribers earlier this year with its decision to drop the filmed version of Hamilton on Independence Day weekend.
Hamilton may be the biggest streaming success of 2020. According to recent reports, it is still topping the charts as the most watched VOD new release of the year. Over the summer, along with the Tony winner being released in the United States, it was made available in the UK, Australia and other central European countries. Since then, it has also been made available in other regions, such as Brazil this week. However, Latin American viewers were vocal with Lin-Manuel Miranda about the Disney+ release not including any foreign language subtitles, to which Miranda said the following:
Many fans took to Twitter to make Lin-Manuel Miranda aware of the inconvenience and surefire bummer for those living in Brazil who don’t speak or read English. Miranda responded in Portuguese by explaining that Disney is currently working on getting subtitles on Hamilton in that language and other languages. Miranda said he was sorry it was not ready by the launch date, sharing he feels “terrible” in Portuguese.
As you can imagine, translating Hamilton into other languages would not be an easy project. The musical not only has fast talking throughout its nearly three-hour runtime, it is also filled with jargon related to America as a whole. One should also keep in mind that Hamilton was initially not set to come out until 2021, until it was rushed for Disney+ amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It does sound frustrating for viewers to watch a musical they’ve been waiting for, only to learn they will not be able to understand it.
This isn’t an issue confined to Brazil either. If you go to watch Hamilton right now anywhere, you will only see English subtitles and audio available in the options. According to the Portuguese site Filmelier, Disney informed them it was a “creative decision” to not offer subtitles or dubbing in any language in Latin America. This could mean the studio intended audiences to watch the play as they would if they had traveled to New York City to see it on vacation. Regardless, Lin-Manuel Miranda has certainly cleared things up and is now promising subtitles in multiple foreign languages now.
Lin-Manuel Miranda is currently directing his first feature, Tick, Tick… Boom, with Andrew Garfield, Jordan Fisher, Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp. Hudgens just spoke with CinemaBlend about how ‘adorable’ Miranda is as a director. Hamilton is still available to stream over on Disney+. Check out what you should look for in the background next time you watch it.