The filmed performance of Hamilton's original Broadway cast will get released more than a year earlier than initially announced.

By Nick Romano
May 12, 2020
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Credit: Joan Marcus

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Disney have a quarantine surprise this week: That Hamilton movie is now dropping more than a year earlier than expected and it's skipping theaters for a premiere on the Disney+ streaming platform this summer.

The film is pegged as a "live-capture" recording of the original cast of Broadway's Hamilton, shot at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City in June 2016. It was all set to hit theaters on Oct. 15, 2021. Now, "in light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world," Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger announced it will arrive on Disney+ starting July 3 of this year.

Miranda, who created the decade-defining stage production, teased something like this might happen on a recent appearance of Live with Kelly and Ryan. "We're putting the finishing touches on that, so we can all watch it together," he said at the time. "It'll be sooner rather than later."

On Tuesday morning, he joined Iger over video chat to spread the word on Good Morning America and sing the praises of Thomas Kail, who directed both the stage and cinematic versions of Hamilton. "He's basically given everyone at home the best seat in the house," Miranda said. "It's a thrilling experience. He really threads the needle between these cinematic close-ups and widening out and seeing the show from the center aisle of the Richard Rodgers Theatre."

"In these times, to tell a story of people uniting together against forces of adversity I think is quite relevant and also quite important," Iger added.

The film will feature original performances by Miranda as the titular lead, as well as Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom, Jr.Christopher JacksonJonathan GroffPhillipa Soo, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Okieriete Onaodowan, and Anthony Ramos. Miranda also executive produced the film with Kail and Jeffrey Seller.

Artemis Fowl was the first Disney film to skip a theatrical run in favor of a Disney+ premiere, but Iger had teased in an interview with Barron's that more movies could and would follow suit. "In terms of movies going ahead after Artemis, there may be a few more that we end up putting directly onto Disney+, but for the most part a lot of the big tentpole Disney films, we’ll simply wait for slots,” he said at the time. “In some cases we’ve announced new ones already, but later on in the calendar.” Hamilton, it would seem, won't be the last.

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