When Was The Disney+ ‘Hamilton’ Production Filmed? It Features The Original Broadway Cast

Before 2015, Alexander Hamilton was just another founding father of the United States. Someone you learn about in AP US history classes or vaguely recognize on the $10 bill. You might even remember he had something to do with the banking system in America. But ever since Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit Broadway show Hamilton debuted in 2015, that name has never been the same.

Now, fans are not throwing away their shots to finally see the musical without an expensive Broadway ticket. It’ll stream on Disney+ this summer. But what version of the show is going to stream? Who will be in it and when was it filmed? 

Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of 'Hamilton' perform onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016.
Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of ‘Hamilton’ perform onstage during the 70th Annual Tony Awards at The Beacon Theatre on June 12, 2016 | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

Disney is releasing its ‘Hamilton’ production on Disney+, more than a year early

On May 12, Disney announced that the Hamilton film would debut on Disney+ on July 3, right before Independence Day. “Surprise! The original Broadway production of Hamilton… is now coming exclusively to #DisneyPlus this July 3rd,” the official Disney+ Twitter sent out. “Shout it to the rooftops! #Hamilfilm.”

This comes after an announcement in February that Disney would release the recorded performance as a film in theaters. It was set for a release date of October 2021. So nearly 15 months ahead of schedule, subscribers can watch Hamilton from their homes. This is in response to COVID-19-induced stay-at-home orders and how the pandemic has severely impacted movie theaters. 

The production on Disney+ was filmed with the original Broadway cast back in 2016

As the original tweet from Disney said, the original Broadway cast are the ones in the film. And even though it premiered in 2015, the recording is from 2016, done at New York City’s Richard Rodgers Theatre which is where the musical ran. 

Miranda not only wrote the musical — songs and lyrics included — but he also starred as Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway production. The original Broadway cast also includes Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton, Renée Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler, and Jasmine Cephas Jones as Peggy, the last Schuyler sister.

Leslie Odom Jr. played Aaron Burr, Hamilton’s direct rival for most of the musical. Christopher Jackson was George Washington and Daveed Diggs played Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson. Okieriete Onaodowan portrayed Hercules Mulligan and James Madison. Anthony Ramos played John Laurens and Hamilton’s son Philip Hamilton. And Jonathan Groff portrayed the delightfully awful King George III.

Deadline reported that the film is the combination of three live performances featuring this group of actors. It’s directed by Tommy Kail, and combines all of that footage to create a cinematic experience, with and without an audience in the background. 

How much did it cost Disney to stream ‘Hamilton’?

Not only is this a great treat for anyone who couldn’t get to a production of Hamilton. It’s also a nice consolation for those who had tickets for this spring or summer, only to have it canceled because of COVID-19 shutdowns. 

While this wasn’t in consideration at the time (most likely), but when Disney bought the rights to distribute this recording of Hamilton, it cost them $75 million. Yahoo reported that this is the “largest sum of money ever [paid] for a finished film.” But with the pandemic, it might be worth it in the end.