A week after Netflix announced it will film Bruce Springsteen’s hotter-than-hot one-man Broadway show for streaming in December, a similar – but big-screen – plan reportedly is in the works for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.
The Wall Street Journal reports today that unnamed Hollywood studios are bidding for the rights to a filmed performance of Hamilton from 2016 – when Miranda still headed the cast in the title role. The worldwide theatrical rights, WSJ reports, could sell for more than $50 million.
The WSJ cites two unnamed people with knowledge of the deal. According to the article, representatives for the production recently screened the recording for interested buyers.
Among the interested studios, according to the WSJ, are Warner Bros and Twentieth Century Fox. The potential buyers are being asked not to play or stream Hamilton until 2020 or 2021.
A spokesperson for Hamilton told Deadline that neither the production nor Miranda would have “any comment on this at this time.”
In May, Deadline co-Editor-in-Chief Mike Fleming broke the story that Warner Bros was nabbing film rights to Miranda’s pre-Hamilton musical In the Heights.
Stage productions certainly have enjoyed recent popularity as live TV specials, with Grease, Peter Pan, The Sound of Music, Hairspray, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Wiz drawing audiences if not always critical praise. One special earning both – along with 13 Emmy nominations – was NBC’s Easter-night presentation of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert starring John Legend and the show-stealing Brandon Victor Dixon as Judas.
Just today, NBC announced that Superstar’s co-director Alex Rudzinski has been hired as co-director (with Diane Paulus) to helm next spring’s Hair Live!
But big-screen presentations of filmed or taped stage musicals are a rarer, or at least of a lesser-profile, breed. Fathom Events presented Angels in America at U.S. cinemas on two nights last July, the two-part play starring Andrew Garfield and Nathan Lane taped from the stage of London’s National Theatre and screened in select cinemas, one part-per-night.
Typically, stage productions presented on the big screen are special events, often London productions made available to U.S. audiences for one or two nights and in select locations. Michael Grandage’s staging of Red will be filmed and released by Trafalgar Releasing in select cinemas across the UK and North America on November 7. According to Playbill, such upcoming presentations include Romeo and Juliet, Julie, The Merry Wives of Windsor, An American in Paris, King Lear starring Ian McKellen, Red, The Madness of King George III, Antony and Cleopatra, I’m Not Running and an encore presentation of 2011’s Frankenstein starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.