Movie theaters aren’t throwing away their shot to have “Hamilton” on the big screen. Disney is bringing a film of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical sensation with the original Broadway cast to cinemas in North America on Oct. 15, 2021.
The movie version isn’t an adaptation in the vein of Miranda’s upcoming “In the Heights,” but rather a “live capture” of a stage performance. It was shot at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in Manhattan before founding members began to depart the production.
Rights to the stage film went for an eye-popping $75 million, in a deal brokered by Endeavor Content on behalf of Miranda, three individuals close to the negotiations told Variety. Endeavor shopped the project around Hollywood, presenting to studios including Warner Bros. before Disney nabbed it.
“Lin-Manuel Miranda created an unforgettable theater experience and a true cultural phenomenon, and it was for good reason that ‘Hamilton’ was hailed as an astonishing work of art,” Disney CEO and chairman Bob Iger said in a statement. “All who saw it with the original cast will never forget that singular experience. And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share this same Broadway experience with millions of people around the world.”
“Hamilton” debuted on Broadway in 2015 and won numerous accolades, including 11 Tonys and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. The original Broadway cast includes Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton.
“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,'” Miranda said. “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.”
Kail added, “We are thrilled for fans of the show, and new audiences across the world, to experience what it was like on stage — and in the audience — when we shot this at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016. We wanted to give everyone the same seat, which is what this film can provide,” Thomas Kail said.
Miranda teased the project to Variety last week at the Sundance Film Festival, saying, “Hamilton” would hopefully get the big-screen treatment “sooner rather than later.”
“What I’m most excited about [is] you all have that friend that is like, ‘I saw it with the original cast.’ We’re stealing that brag from everyone because you’re all going to see it with the original cast,” Miranda said. “We’re just trying to find the right time to do it.”
Matt Donnelly contributed to this report.