Your July calendar has just been filled. Disney and Lin-Manuel Miranda announced today that the filmed version of the original Broadway production of Hamilton will be premiering on Disney+ on July 3rd. Yes, that is just in time for American Independence Day. And, yes, this is the only acceptable way to celebrate the holiday this year.
Disney is “fast-tracking” the premiere, which was scheduled to be a theatrical release in October 2021. No doubt the “social distancing” measures brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic has changed the original plan, as it has done for so many things. It’s nice to have things to look forward to.
For those who don’t know much about the stage musical, Hamilton is the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. The story is inspired by the 2004 autobiography by Ron Chernow, which writer Miranda first read on a 2008 vacation. It premiered Off-Broadway at the Public Theater in February 2015 and debuted on Broadway in August of the same year. It would go on to win 11 Tony Awards, as well as the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. It is known for its color-conscious casting of non-white actors in the roles of Founding Fathers and other historical figures, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and of course Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
There have been many different cast production of Hamilton at this point, but the one hitting Disney+ will be of the Original Broadway Cast. Their performance was filmed at the Richard Rogers Theatre in June 2016. The cast includes Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Jonathan Groff as King George; Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton; and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds; Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
“I’m so proud of how beautifully [director] Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen,” said Miranda in a press release. “He’s given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house. 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.”