Leave it to Disney to bring joy during these dismal times: the company has accelerated its plans to release a filmed version of the Lin Manuel-Miranda musical Hamilton, which stars One Life to Live alums Renée Elise Goldsberry (ex-Evangeline Williamson) and Jonathan Groff (ex-Henry Mackler). The film will now be released on Friday, July 3, on Disney + rather than in theaters on October 15, 2021. That's more than a full year early, which is definitely worthy of a celebration!
Disney Executive Chairman Robert Iger and Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda announced the good news on Good Morning America, stating that they hope to brighten up the July 4 weekend with the seminal hip-hop American history tale.
Disney beat out several other companies to secure the rights to the film version of the musical, which was shot two weeks before the original Broadway cast left. Those cast members include Tony Award winners Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler; Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton; Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson; and Leslie Odom, Jr. as Aaron Burr; as well as Tony Award nominees Groff as King George; Christopher Jackson as George Washington; Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton; and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds. Additional stars include Okieriete Onaodowan as Hercules Mulligan/James Madison; and Anthony Ramos as John Laurens/Philip Hamilton.
The film is described as 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.
"No other artistic work in the last decade has had the cultural impact of Hamilton -- an inspiring and captivating tale told and performed in a powerfully creative way. In light of the extraordinary challenges facing our world, this story about leadership, tenacity, hope, love and the power of people to unite against the forces of adversity is both relevant and impactful," said Iger in a statement. "We are thrilled to bring this phenomenon to Disney+ on the eve of Independence Day, and we have the brilliant Lin-Manuel Miranda and the team behind Hamilton to thank for allowing us to do so more than a year before planned."
Adds Lin-Manuel Miranda, "I'm so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. 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."
Hamilton is a groundbreaking musical that, as described by Broadway World, tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, "who went from bastard orphan to George Washington's right hand man, rebel to war hero, loving husband caught in the country's first sex scandal to the Treasury secretary who made an untrusting world believe in the American economy."
Goldsberry starred on OLTL from 2003 to 2007, while Groff starred on the ABC soap opera for a short stint in 2007.
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