It’s going to take a long time before someone sees “Hamilton” again on stage.
But there is now another option: Disney announced Tuesday that it plans to broadcast a filmed version of the stage production from July 3 on Disney Plus.
The plan is an evolution brought on by a pandemic: just three months ago, Disney announced that it was preparing the film for release on October 15, 2021.
But the cancellation of all live performances, as well as the uncertain appeal of movie theaters, led the company to speed up the film, lengthening the release date by 15 months.
“In this very difficult time, this story of leadership, tenacity, hope, love and the power to unite against adversity is both relevant and inspiring,” said Disney’s executive president, Robert Iger. said on Twitter.
The film largely consists of filmed performances, featuring the original cast of Broadway, shot at the Richard Rodgers Theater in June 2016. The film, like the stage production, is directed by Thomas Kail; Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the musical, plays the lead role.
The release date is not accidental: the musical portrays the American Revolution, and July 4 is Independence Day in the United States.
“Hamilton”, about the life and death of Alexander Hamilton, who was the first national secretary of the Treasury, has been a huge blockbuster since it opened on Broadway in 2015. The show won the Pulitzer Prize 2016 for the theater, and 11 Tony Awards, including the award for best new musical.
The show grossed $ 650 million on Broadway, where it was viewed by 2.6 million people. And, before live performances from around the world were shut down to limit the spread of the coronavirus, he also performed in London and in several North American productions on tour.
Disney Plus, with more than 50 million subscribers, was one of the highlights of the sick Disney empire, which, due to its dependence on theme parks and cinema, has been hit hard by the pandemic.
This is not the first time that Disney has changed its streaming plans because it adapts to a market transformed by this unexpected moment: in March, the company began to broadcast the animated film “Frozen 2” three months more sooner than expected, citing “this difficult period”.
Nor is it the only Miranda film affected by the pandemic: a feature film adapted from her previous musical “In the Heights” was deferred. Originally scheduled for next month, the film should now be released a year later, on June 18, 2021.
In addition, Hulu plans to air a documentary on Freestyle Love Supreme, the rap improv group co-founded by Miranda, Kail and Anthony Veneziale, starting June 5. The documentary, “We Are Freestyle Love Supreme”, is directed by Andrew Fried.