The members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences know all about the filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s Hamilton on Disney+, but when it comes to whether or not the movie will be eligible for Oscars at next year’s ceremony, the Academy rule-makers will, to quote one of the musical’s songs, say no to this. Looks like Miranda won’t be putting any Hamilton Oscars on his shelf next to the Grammys, Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Billboard Music Award, and other prizes the show has racked up over the years.
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In 2016, Hamilton was at the top of the world. The hip-hop musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda was a bonafide cultural phenomenon, blowing the doors wide open to the usually niche world of musical theater and becoming the most hotly-talked about topic in pop culture, music, and even politics. The hip-hop musical about American Founding Father Alexander was (aptly) hailed as revolutionary, and to bear witness to its meteoric rise was amazing. But only a select few could actually get to witness the magic of Hamilton on stage.
Accessibility has always been the bane of theater. The Richard Rodgers Theatre can only house so many people in its seats, and the cast of Hamilton can only perform eight shows a week for so long. But before that moment could fade, Hamilton director Thomas Kail wanted to shatter the show’s long-held reputation of exclusivity and share “the energy of what it was like to be in the Richard Rodgers Theatre in June of 2016, because I never felt anything like that.”
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Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s hip-hop musical Hamilton is an unqualified masterpiece: a once-in-a-generation combination of brilliant writing, indelible performances, and spectacular music that became a genuine pop culture phenomenon and crossed over into the mainstream.
So it feels strange to say that director Thomas Kail‘s filmed version of Hamilton, which was shot with the original cast at the height of the show’s fame in 2016 and which debuts on Disney+ this Friday, left me slightly underwhelmed. As a big fan of the musical who has listened to the cast recording of the album tons of times through, it’s legitimately amazing for a high-definition version of this show people paid hundreds of dollars to see in person to simply pop up on a streaming service, accessible for the low price of $6.99 a month. But as the credits rolled, I couldn’t shake a nagging feeling of being just a little bit disappointed. Read More »
The original cast of Hamilton remembers being very tired in June of 2016. They were a month away from taking their final bow after nearly a year of performing eight shows a week, to critical acclaim and astronomical popularity. Creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda was in the middle of writing the songs for Disney’s upcoming animated film Moana. And the cast and crew had taken on the seemingly impossible task of filming their show for a feature film that had no distributor and no studio over the course of three days.
“I look very tired in the movie and I paid for that look,” Miranda said in a Zoom Q&A with the cast and team of Hamilton ahead of the film’s upcoming debut on Disney+.
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If you remember watching the early days of the American version of Whose Line is it Anyway? in the late ’90s and early 2000s, you probably recall a game in which performer Wayne Brady would essentially freestyle his way through a song based on a suggestion from the audience. But he wasn’t the only one doing hip-hop improv around that time.
There was also Freestyle Love Supreme, a small improv group comprised of future big names like Lin-Manuel Miranda. That group is the subject of a feature length documentary called We Are Freestyle Love Supreme which played at Sundance earlier this year, and it’s about to debut on Hulu in just a few days. Here’s the first trailer. Read More »
So far, Thomas Kail has been best known as the award-winning director of the stage versions of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights and Hamilton. He also directed the film version of Hamilton that’s coming to Disney+ in July, and now Kail has another musical film adaptation in the works: a new report says he’ll produce and direct a Fiddler on the Roof remake for MGM. Get more details below.
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Remember that previously-announced Disney Oliver! remake? The one starring Ice Cube, with Hamilton director Thomas Kail at the helm? It’s still happening! And the film now has a writer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer alumnus Danny Strong will pen the script. The original Oliver! was a musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Ice Cube will play Fagin, the leader of a band of young pickpockets.
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Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2016 by Angie Han
Another day, another big announcement about Disney’s plans to remake a classic tale. But this one sounds a little more offbeat than most. The Mouse House is planning an Oliver Twist movie musical, with Ice Cube set to play Fagin and (wait for it) Hamilton director Thomas Kail set to helm. It might not sound like the most obvious combination, but then again neither did hip-hop and the American Revolution, and look how that turned out. Read More »