Disney has won the film and streaming rights to a film version of the smash Broadway hit “Hamilton.”
The deal was reportedly worth upwards of $75 million, according to Deadline.
It’s important to note that the film isn’t an original adaptation of the musical that’s been reshot — like the ill-fated “Cats.”
Instead, the film will use three 2016 performances that were filmed featuring the original Broadway cast in front of a live audience — with some additional shots done without an audience in the theatre, presumably so cameras could get on stage and capture close up action.
This means the “fourth wall” likely won’t be featured — with most of the action shot against the three walls theatre goers see. For reverse shots, audience members may appear or the audience area may be “blacked out.”
Plans call for the various versions to be edited together into a single film, a common tact when Broadway shows are filmed for TV or theatre.
Disney’s willingness to shell out $75 million for the theatrical and streaming rights is especially noteworthy considering the production has already been filmed — and won’t require a multimillion dollar production budget. In fact, the footage has been in the can for three to four years at this point with all of the cast having moved on to other projects.
Deadline points out the amount is likely a record for a already filmed project.
In addition to being a major motion picture release in October 2021, plans call for the filmed presentation to hit the Disney+ streaming service — likely sometime in 2022.
While it appears Disney+ has locked in the exclusive streaming rights to the show, it’s not immediately clear if it will be released for purchase on DVD or via other entertainment platforms such as iTunes, though it’s certainly to Disney’s advantage to not go any of those routes.