- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
The project, which was originally set for an Oct. 15, 2021, theatrical release will instead hit Disney+ on July 3 of this year, making it available over the July 4 weekend.
Filmed at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre in June 2016, the movie features Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda in the starring role as Alexander Hamilton, as well as Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
The cast also includes Carleigh Bettiol, Ariana DeBose, Hope Easterbrook, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Elizabeth Judd, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, Seth Stewart and Ephraim Sykes.
Disney describes the movie as a “leap forward in the art of ‘live capture,’ which transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way.”
The project combines elements of live theater, film and streaming, Disney says, to create a new way to experience the 11-time Tony Award-winning musical.
“No other artistic work in the last decade has had the cultural impact of Hamilton — an inspiring and captivating tale told and performed in a powerfully creative way. In light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love and the power of people to unite against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful,” Disney executive chairman Bob Iger said Tuesday in a statement. “We are thrilled to bring this phenomenon to Disney+ on the eve of Independence Day, and we have the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda and the team behind Hamilton to thank for allowing us to do so more than a year before planned.”
Added Miranda in his own statement: “I’m so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house. I’m so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I’m so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I’m so glad that we’re able to make it happen. I’m so proud of this show. I can’t wait for you to see it.”
It’s just the latest project to shift to a streaming or VOD release amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has closed theaters around the world as people are urged to stay home to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Still, Hamilton‘s original release date in October 2021 is far in the future, indicating it might not have been affected by the pandemic. Indeed, it’s beyond the 12- to 18-month period when scientists believe a vaccine could be available.
Nevertheless, Hamilton‘s early release will provide fresh content for viewers, many of whom are still stuck at home even as some states in the U.S. begin reopening. It’s unclear, though, how long any loosened restrictions will last, as rapidly increasing numbers of new cases and hospitalizations could cause officials to once again shut things down. Just Tuesday morning, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci again warned against reopening too soon.
High-profile projects that have shifted to a premium VOD release in recent months include Universal’s Trolls World Tour and Warner Bros.’ Scoob!, with Disney’s Artemis Fowl moving to Disney+ from its planned May 29 theatrical release date, as well.
Similarly, Disney+ has made a number of projects available to stream earlier than originally scheduled, moving up the home availability of theatrical releases Frozen 2, Onward and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Despite states reopening various businesses, many movie theaters, including ones owned by major chains, remain closed, with the next big theatrical release on the calendar set for July 17: Warner Bros’ Tenet, directed by Christopher Nolan. Disney’s own Mulan, which was originally set to hit theaters in late March before the pandemic shut down businesses worldwide, has a new release date of July 24.
Disney scored worldwide distribution rights to Hamilton, it was announced in February of this year, after what is believed to have been a long period of competitive negotiations. Sources familiar with the deal said Disney paid a massive $75 million for global rights to the finished film.
Miranda — who is also a producer on the Hamilton film along with Jeffrey Seller, and Thomas Kail, who also directed the project — tweeted the below video Tuesday morning announcing the shift.
It’s only a matter of time…
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 12, 2020
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day