Theatrelovers received a blast of unexpected good news May 12, when Walt Disney Studios announced via Twitter that the Hamilton film, which captured the original Broadway production, will stream on Disney+ beginning July 3.
Surprise! The original Broadway production of Hamilton, filmed LIVE onstage at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, is now coming exclusively to @DisneyPlus this July 3rd. Shout it to the rooftops! #Hamilfilm pic.twitter.com/s43oW0hJGc
— Walt Disney Studios (@DisneyStudios) May 12, 2020
Initially announced for a theatrical release in October 2021, the release of the filmed presentation of the Tony-, Pulitzer-, and Olivier-winning musical is produced by Disney, creator (and original star) Lin-Manuel Miranda, producer Jeffrey Seller, and director Thomas Kail.
“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,” said Robert A. Iger, executive chairman of The Walt Disney Company, 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.”
“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,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda. “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.”
The production was filmed at Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre in June 2016. Joining Miranda were Tony winners Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, along with Tony nominees Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, and Jonathan Groff as King George. Rounding out the principal company were Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds, Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison, and Anthony Ramos (who stars in the upcoming film adaptation of Miranda's In the Heights) as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
Appearing in the ensemble are now-Tony nominees Ariana DeBose (playing Anita in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story) and Ephraim Sykes, plus Carleigh Bettiol, Hope Easterbrook, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Elizabeth Judd, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, and Seth Stewart.
Reports broke in July 2018 of a bidding war erupting between studios over the filmed presentation, with Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox both named as contenders (the latter acquired by Disney in 2019). Since premiering Off-Broadway at the Public Theater, Hamilton has amassed myriad accolades, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 11 Tony Awards. The musical has since opened in London's West End, played a sit-down engagement in Chicago, and has launched three national tours (the most recent kicking off in Puerto Rico). The staging features choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler, orchestrations by musical supervisor Alex Lacamoire, sets by David Korins, costumes by Paul Tazewell, lighting by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Nevin Steinberg.