For the past five years, "Hamilton" has been the hottest ticket on Broadway. Nabbing a seat to the hip-hop musical and pop-culture phenomenon has been a tough get, since it often has astronomical prices and high demand. But there’s some good news ahead: HAMILTON is coming to theatres next year. Just last month, Disney purchased the rights to distribute a movie of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s claim-to-fame to theatres. It’s sure to be a unique theatrical experience you’re not going to want to miss.
Established fans of the musical have been waiting for a way to see the production without fighting for a spot at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York or catching its much-sought-after tour around the globe. The upcoming movie looks to be just about the best cinematic version fans could ask for and the perfect introduction to the 11-time Tony and Pulitzer Prize–winning production.
So, don’t throw away your shot. It’s time to follow along on this breakdown of everything you need to know about what to expect from the HAMILTON movie version of the musical. Here’s what has been confirmed so far.
Does the Hamilton Movie Have a Release Date?
HAMILTON is currently set to be released on October 15, 2021. For the time being, this date will directly compete with David Gordon Green’s third HALLOWEEN film, HALLOWEEN ENDS, coming off the success of 2018’s return to the iconic horror franchise fronted by Jamie Lee Curtis 40 years later. The anticipation for HALLOWEEN ENDS will depend on how HALLOWEEN KILLS does this October.
With a wider look at HAMILTON’s box office picture, the big-screen musical may also compete with ELVIS coming out in early October, THE ADDAMS FAMILY 2 hitting theatres a week later and Marvel’s highly anticipated conclusion to its Phase Four slate, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, at the start of November.
Will Hamilton Be a Film Adaptation or a Live Performance?
In contrast to recent movie musicals based on famous stage productions, such as Universal’s CATS or 2014’s INTO THE WOODS, that recast their Broadway stars with A-list Hollywood talents and massive set pieces, HAMILTON is comprised of three filmed performances of the Broadway show back in 2016 — including set-up shots of the show without an audience. The movie will immerse audiences into the stage play as it was traditionally seen at the height of its popularity a few years back, and capture the true spirit of its spectacle that fans still love to talk about.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote "Hamilton's" music and lyrics, has previously spoken to why his play might be "tricky" to be translated into a full-on movie version. The musical about America’s Founding Fathers is sung and rapped through for a majority of its runtime, and there are only a couple lines of dialog. The performers build momentum and a certain tempo on stage in a specific way the audience can feel when they witness it live. Thankfully, this will be captured on the big screen when this live version hits AMC theatres.
Will the Original Cast Return?
There are still many fans of "Hamilton" that have yet to see the musical themselves, but they’ve always had the soundtrack. The best-selling 2015 recording features the original cast of "Hamilton" and so will this upcoming movie. The footage was captured just two weeks before the first cast departed from performing the musical six days a week and more actors replaced them. Many of them have made big names for themselves since leaving "Hamilton," so it will be special to see them perform the show that started it all for them.
Leading the cast of course is Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, who has since worked with Disney on the MOANA soundtrack and played Jack the lamplighter in MARY POPPINS RETURNS. He’s also part of the musical department for the live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID from the House of Mouse and wrote the new cantina theme for 2015’s STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. Additionally, the entire original "Hamilton" cast will be in attendance on the big screen, too.
Among this cast is Leslie Odom Jr. as the man who shot and killed Hamilton, Aaron Burr. After getting his start in the groundbreaking musical, the actor has found roles in MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS and HARRIET. BLINDSPOTTING’s Daveed Diggs is also an original cast member as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, and FROZEN II’s Kristoff Jonathan Groff plays the hilarious King George III in "Hamilton." And not to mention Anthony Ramos’s John Laurens and Philip Hamilton. (The actor will also star in a movie musical adaptation based on Miranda’s first musical, IN THE HEIGHTS, this summer.)
Who’s Directing the Hamilton Movie?
The director behind the HAMILTON movie is Thomas Kail, who has also been behind the camera for five episodes of FX’s "Fosse/Verdon," which is about the life of and relationship between Broadway choreographer/director Bob Fosse and dancer Gwen Verdon. Kail also helmed FOX’s live television production of "Grease" back in 2016. The telecast starred Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit as Sandy and Danny, along with Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Mario Lopez and Jordan Fisher.
When the movie was announced back in February, Lin-Manuel Miranda said he was “so proud” of what Kail was able to capture with his direction. Miranda described the HAMILTON movie as “a live theatrical experience that feels just as immediate in your local movie theatre.” Live versions of musicals are a rarity to see on the big screen, but Kail’s experience with Broadway material certainly makes him a great fit for the project.
What Is Hamilton’s Story About?
HAMILTON is the story of one of America’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. After reading a 2004 biography written by Ron Chernow, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired to tell his incredible story from a fresh perspective. The audience follows Hamilton as he leaves his home in the Caribbean to live in New York in 1776. There, he meets the other Founding Fathers and finds love with Eliza Schuyler. The play also follows a heartbreaking side story of Eliza’s sister, Angelica, who is secretly in love with Hamilton as well.
The hip-hop play chronicles historic events such as the Siege of Yorktown and the Compromise of 1790 in entertaining ways, such as spitfire rap battles and heartfelt songs. HAMILTON tracks Alexander’s life right until the very end and gives audiences a new perspective on American history by spinning the Founding Fathers' experiences in ways that modern audiences can identify with and feel close to.
That's everything we know so far about HAMILTON! We'll update this guide whenever new information breaks, so check back often.