Lin-Manuel Miranda Isn't Saying No, No, No To An Encanto Sequel

Disney's animated film "Encanto" debuted to critical acclaim and, for a pandemic-era release, solid box office numbers upon its theatrical opening in late November 2021. A month later, however, it exploded in popularity upon premiering on Disney+, with Lin-Manuel Miranda's song "We Don't Talk About Bruno" sky-rocketing its way up the Billboard 200 charts. The "Hamilton" mastermind is now on the verge of earning the coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) distinction at the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony, where the tune "Dos Oruguitas" is up for the Best Original Song Oscar, with Germaine Franco also in the running for Best Original Score and the movie itself in contention for Best Animated Feature Film.

It's safe to assume "Encanto" will eventually come to encompass more than just a single movie musical. Disney CEO Bob Chapek already confirmed as much when he attributed the company's strong start to the 2022 fiscal year to, among other factors, "the launch of a new franchise with 'Encanto.'" Miranda has similarly alluded to the idea of doing more with the Family Madrigal on multiple occasions in the past and once again voiced his interest in revisiting the fantastical, magical clan (be it in one medium or another) in a recent interview.

But should it be with a movie, a series, or a stage show?

"Encanto" centers on Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz), the only member born into the Madrigals — a family that resides in a secluded village in Colombia — to reach a certain age without being gifted magical powers by the enchanted candle that saved her Abuela Alma's (María Cecilia Botero) life and created their sentient house, "Casita," so many years ago. As Mirabel sets out to uncover why the candle's magic is starting to diminish, the film shines a light on the internal struggles of her siblings and other relatives, of which there are far too many for them all to receive equal time in the spotlight. 

Miranda touched on this while talking to Collider about what would be the best way to expand upon the movie:

"I do think there's an appetite to further explore the Madrigal family, given how many characters there are, and how many gifts there are. And also where we leave the story. Now there is sort of this more fully realized version of themselves. Which way can we go? I think it's a question of when and not if, and what form that will take. Is that another movie? Is that a series? Is that a stage adaptation where we have a little more time, because stage shows are generally an hour longer than movies? And we haven't had conversations as to what form that will take, but I mean, yeah, I'd be down to continue to explore that. I love writing for Dolores and Camilo. I'd love to write more for them. I'd love to write more for Isabela. So I'm not sure what the next form of that will be, but we haven't had specific conversations about it's this or it's this."

The more I think about it, the more I find myself leaning towards the idea of an "Encanto" stage musical rather than a movie sequel or spinoff series on Disney+. Like Miranda noted, a Broadway adaptation would afford him more room to better flesh out the many, many members of Mirabel's family, on top of bringing him back to his theater roots. This would also allow Miranda and whoever else ends up working on the stage musical to dig even deeper into the film's themes about intergenerational trauma and social anxiety, bringing greater depth to its story in the process. Plus, as Miranda has pointed out before, "Encanto" lends itself to a stage musical interpretation far more readily than other Disney animated films do (and I, for one, would love to see how "Casita" is brought to life via practical effects).

Of course, knowing Disney, there's a very good chance that "Encanto" will live on with far more than a single project. Keep it tuned to /Film for more updates on that front as they roll in.