Hamilton movie announced: future of musical adaptations


 Hamilton, an American musical-biography for its namesake written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, hit the media hard in 2016. Ticket prices shot up to sky-high levels, (currently, tickets range from $270 to $310, with some premium seating reaching $849 – the average broadway ticket is usually around $75) as the musical got more and more popular. It was praised as a genre-breaking, bringing a whole new spin on musicals theater by heavily relying on rap in it’s soundtrack, and color-blind casting caused some uproar as George Washington was portrayed by a black man (CBS Baltimore). 

     Now, a movie version has been set to release on Oct. 15, 2021. The film isn’t an adaptation for the big screen like Miranda’s other musical, In The Heights, whose movie is set to release on June 26, 2020. Instead, this is a filmed production of the show on stage at the Richard Rodgers with the original cast. Disney bought the rights to the film for $75 million; high praise for a musical and cast that were unknown when they first debuted. 

     But Hamilton’s hype was in the past, is this movie just going to be the final nail in the coffin?

     With another musical making its debut on the big screen, Cats was not well received. People were put off by the visual effects and the strangeness of the story. It was widely regarded as a joke across the internet, and people only went to see it to then come rant about how terrible and horrifying it was (CNN). Granted, Hamilton won’t be featuring CGI cat costumes, but Cats certainly left an impression about movie-musicals. 

  Allegedly, the filming style of Hamilton will be drastically different from other movie-musicals. Cats and In the Heights were more adapted to the screen, telling a more traditional story, but Hamilton will just be a filmed stage show, complete with an intermission. Filming the stage is difficult to do well, as flat camera angles can make a performance less visually interesting, but being on the stage can interfere with blocking (schooltheatre.org).

     The movie is intended to bring the opportunity to see Hamilton to everyone and at more affordable prices.. Hamilton has also been touring in major cities, making tickets less expensive and more available to the public – tickets in Chicago are only $175 compared to the Broadway prices.

     Sydney Pollitt, junior and self-proclaimed Hamilton fanatic, is very excited for the movie release. “I can’t wait!” Pollitt said. “Obviously there’s a difference between seeing it on stage and at the movies, but seeing it with the original cast is going to be so cool! And it’s going to make it available for some many more people now!” When asked about how Hamilton will impact the movie-musical world, Pollitt said, “I think it’ll redeem them from Cats. It’ll definitely be better.”