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There are Broadway blockbusters, and then there's Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton. The beloved hip-hop musical became a pop culture sensation when it arrived on on the great white way in 2015, winning a whopping 11 Tony Awards in addition to a Grammy and Pulitzer Prize. Soon audiences all over the world will get to be in the room where it happens, thanks to the Hamilton movie arriving shortly on Disney+. The movie is a filmed version of the stage show, featuring the principal actors of the original Broadway cast. And it turns out that even Lin-Manuel Miranda and company are being surprised by Hamilton this time around.
Following the massive success of his first musical In The Heights, Lin-Manuel Miranda began developing Hamilton. Some of the cast's journey goes back to the 2014 original workshop, while others joined Hamilton during its Off-Broadway run. But despite their years with the material, Miranda and co-stars Renee Elise Goldsberry and Christopher Jackson were still surprised when watching Disney+'s movie version. Miranda recently explained this experience, while giving credit to Thomas Kail, who directed both the stage and film version of Hamilton. As he explained in a virtual press conference,
The other thing Tommy does so well is he does capture so much detail. You are seeing how exacting that ensemble member is, even if they’re not the one speaking in that particular moment. Tommy is everywhere the camera needs to be. And I’m grateful for seeing details I never saw in the show while I was performing it. I see something new every time.
Well, it certainly sounds like Hamilton's movie on Disney+ was in very good hands. The footage was filmed back in 2016, before the principal cast departed the show. And since Thomas Kail knew every moment and picture on the stage, he was able to capture some nuanced visuals that caught even Lin-Manuel Miranda off guard. Considering Miranda wrote and starred in the show, that's really saying something.
Hamilton will be available exclusively on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the new streaming service.
This sentiment seems to be echoes by other members of Hamilton's original cast, whose performances will be immortalized when the movie presentation arrives on Disney+ July 3rd. Altered Carbon star Renee Elise Golsberry won a Tony Award for her performance as Angelica Schuyler, a role she originated in the Off-Broadway production. But she was similarly surprised by Hamilton's visuals an Thomas Kail's methodical direction, saying:
There are so many moments that are surprising to me. And that’s always amazing when you’ve spent much of your life doing a show. But that’s the beauty of another perspective. And the perspective is where the camera is, where Tommy Kail but that camera. How close, and what angle. So I’m surprised by things that I’m actually even doing that I didn’t remember because I couldn’t see it. I just experienced it. There are surprises even for those of us who were with the show for a very long time.
It sounds like Angelica Schuyler is finally satisfied. In my conversation with Renee Elise Goldsberry about Hamilton's release, she echoed Lin-Manuel Miranda's comments about being surprised. But the Waves actress took things one step further, as she's even surprised by things she did during the show back in 2016. She's able to have a new perspective on the show as an audience member, once again citing the show/movie's director Tom Kail for his storytelling abilities.
You can check out the trailer for Hamilton below.
I also had the chance to speak with President Washington himself, actor Christopher Jackson. Jackson was in the show's original workshop, after working with Lin-Manuel Miranda in the Original Broadway Cast of In The Heights. But as you might have guessed, he shared similar feelings to his co-stars when watching Hamilton's movie ahead of its Disney+ release. When I asked if he shared that same sense of surprise, he said:
In every way. I performed this thing like 800 some odd times. You think you know things, and there are things happening that you never saw. And even when I went back to see, the original cast was gone by the time I actually got to watch it. It’s astounding to me. It’s astounding to me that the thing that they captured is exactly the thing that we came with every single show. The difficulty and the precision of the show is baked in. So just accomplishing the performance of it, that’s the level where it lives at.
Is anyone else hyped for Hamilton to finally arrive? The show is still running on Broadway, and tours have been running for years. But the new movie will feature all of the original principal actors, who the audience has heard countless time on the Grammy Award-winning soundtrack. And those performances will all be immortalized forever, allowing future generations to see their iconic work on the beloved musical.
Hamilton will arrive on Disney+ on July 3rd. Be sure to check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.