When You Might Be Able to See ‘Hamilton’ on the Big Screen

Hamilton

Hamilton | Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions

If you’ve been dying to see the smash-hit Broadway musical Hamilton for years now, just you wait; it’s reportedly headed to the big screen soon, although it won’t be in the form of a feature film adaptation.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that major movie studios are currently bidding for the rights to a filmed version of Hamilton that was recorded in 2016 with Lin-Manuel Miranda and the rest of the original cast. So if it came to theaters, this would just be a way for the average person to finally be able to see the stage musical without paying hundreds of dollars; it wouldn’t be a scripted adaptation.

The report states that the sellers are asking for Hamilton to not play in theaters until 2020 or 2021, giving the show a bit more time to be exclusive to the stage. Still, since the demand is so high, it wouldn’t be surprising if this filmed version debuts as soon as possible.

Indeed, demand is apparently quite high, as these rights might sell for more than $50 million. For some perspective, that’s about how much it cost to make the movie Mamma Mia!, an actual adaptation of a musical, whereas this is nothing more than a recording of a musical. The fact that it’s commanding such a high price tag just demonstrates what an utter phenomenon Hamilton is.

To be clear, it doesn’t appear that this would be some sort of special screening like a Fathom Event, where you can see it in theaters for one night only. No, this would open in theaters just like a regular movie and play for weeks. It even has an intermission, so it really is just what you’d imagine you’d see if professional film cameras were brought in to a Broadway production for a night. This is something that we’ve never really seen before; typically, if a musical is to open wide and play in theaters across the country, it’s a proper adaptation like Rent or Les Misérables. 

Hamilton

Hamilton | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Some of the studios who are reportedly interested include Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox. It’s worth noting that if Fox was the one to win the rights, this would likely mean that Disney would be in control of Hamilton‘s theatrical release by the time 2020 or 2021 came around.

Another interested buyer is reportedly Netflix. If they were the ones to purchase it, they’d probably show Hamilton in some limited theaters while also making it available for streaming on the same day, so it wouldn’t be as much of a theatrical experience as if Warner or Fox bought it.

Even at $50 million, this would likely be a bargain for whatever studio ends up buying the rights. After all, Hamilton is the biggest musical phenomenon of the decade, and the demand to see it has been wild, with tickets still being hard to get and costing several hundred dollars. If people were given the opportunity to see an exact replica of the experience in theaters for $10, this would almost certainly be massive, especially because movie musicals have been killing it at the box office lately. How lucky musical fans are to be alive right now indeed.