‘Hamilton’ Film Guaranteed Not to Be Another ‘Cats’ Spectacle

Hamilton Film
Daveed Diggs, Okieriete Onaodowan, Anthony Ramos, and Lin-Manuel Miranda in ‘Hamilton’ (Photo by Joan Marcus)

How can we be certain Disney won’t do to Hamilton what Universal Pictures did to Cats? Theatre fans feeling leery about trusting Hollywood after screening Cats can rest assured the same fate won’t befall Hamilton. Why? Because Disney’s Hamilton is actually a film of the original Broadway production starring the original Broadway cast.

“We are thrilled for fans of the show, and new audiences across the world, to experience what it was like on stage – and in the audience – when we shot this at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June of 2016. We wanted to give everyone the same seat, which is what this film can provide,” said director/producer Thomas Kail.

Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Silver are also producers. Disney’s targeting an October 15, 2021 theatrical release in the United States and Canada.

“Lin-Manuel Miranda created an unforgettable theater experience and a true cultural phenomenon, and it was for good reason that Hamilton was hailed as an astonishing work of art. All who saw it with the original cast will never forget that singular experience,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company. “And we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to share this same Broadway experience with millions of people around the world.”

According to Disney, Hamilton‘s original Broadway cast members who will be appearing in the film include Tony Award winners Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr. Christopher Jackson is George Washington, Jonathan Groff is King George, Phillipa Soo is Eliza Hamilton, and Jasmine Cephas Jones is Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. Okieriete Onaodowan plays Hercules Mulligan/James Madison and Anthony Ramos is John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.

Carleigh Bettiol, Ariana DeBose, Hope Easterbrook, Sydney James Harcourt, Sasha Hutchings, Thayne Jasperson, Elizabeth Judd, Jon Rua, Austin Smith, Seth Stewart, and Ephraim Sykes are also featured in the film.

“I fell in love with musical storytelling growing up with the legendary Howard Ashman-Alan Menken Disney collaborations – The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Aladdin,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda. “I’m so proud of what Tommy Kail has been able to capture in this filmed version of Hamilton – a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theater. We’re excited to partner with Disney to bring the original Broadway company of Hamilton to the largest audience possible.”

Hamilton Film Details, Per Disney:

“The film of the original Broadway cast performing Hamilton is a leap forward in the art of ‘live capture.’ This movie transports its audience into the world of the Broadway show in a uniquely intimate way. Combining the best elements of live theater and film, the result is a cinematic stage performance that is a wholly new way to experience Hamilton.”