As the story of Hamilton tells it, the 10-dollar Founding Father without a father got a lot farther by working a lot harder and being a lot smarter. That requires recognizing even the best-laid plans sometimes don't work, and being a self-starter means rolling with those punches. It wasn't long ago that a theatrical release in October of 2021 made the most sense for Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda. But times have changed, drastically, and now Hamilton is coming to Disney+, and it's going to arrive just before Independence Day.
When Miranda created Hamilton, he said he was trying to create a piece of theater that spoke to everyone, taking both history and musicals and making them accessible. Creating a recorded version of the live show in 2016 was part of bringing theater to those who see Broadway as beyond their reach, the purview of the privileged. Miranda wisely held on to the rights to that recording, creating a bidding war for it, which Disney won in February of 2020.
The original plan was to hold the release of the film until October of the next year. That would have allowed Miranda's movie-musical adaptation of In The Heights to arrive this summer, and hopefully, garner enough awards attention to gin up viewers for a Hamilton release to follow.
But that's all been upended. In The Heights has been rescheduled for the summer of 2021. And Disney is in crisis, as its parks remain shuttered, and the theatrical slate in disarray. The one bright spot is Disney+. Subscriptions for the service have soared during this stay-at-home order period. So why not follow the eyeballs, and make Hamilton accessible to all those stuck at home?
According to the press release:
The Walt Disney Company, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeffrey Seller and Thomas Kail are pleased to announce that Disney+ will fast track the premiere of the filmed version of the original Broadway production of Hamilton, bringing the 11-time-Tony Award®-, GRAMMY Award®-, Olivier Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning stage musical to homes around the world on July 3, 2020.
The press release also reminds viewers this is not a traditional movie-musical.
The film is 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. Combining the best elements of live theater, film, and streaming, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience Hamilton.
Hamilton will arrive on Disney+ on Friday, July 3, 2020, just in time for the Independence Day weekend.