When The Walt Disney Company acquired the filmed version of the Broadway musical Hamilton it was for what could be described as a pretty penny. A previous report on the studio's acquisition pinned the number at being $75 million, and as a result of that sale show creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda found himself on a Hollywood Top 10 list. Forbes has released their The Highest-Paid Actors Of 2020, and Miranda has cracked the top 10 and landed at the #7 spot. According to the outlet, Miranda was paid $45.5 million in 2020. What's unclear about this sum is how much of it hails from Hamilton alone.
Appearing at #7, Miranda sits above some heavy hitters in Hollywood, earning more than Will Smith (44.5 million), Adam Sandler (41 million), and Jackie Chan (40 million) for this year. Other actors that appear on the list include Vin Diesel at #5 (54 million), Ben Affleck at #4 (55 million), Mark Wahlberg at #3 (58 million), Ryan Reynolds at #2 (71.5 million), and Dwayne Johnson at #1 (87.5 million). As Forbes notes, Miranda stands to score another major payday (And perhaps land on the same list again) in 2021 as the live-action adaptation of his show In The Heights is released.
When Disney acquired this filmed version of Hamilton it was with the intention of releasing it in theaters in October of 2021. After the coronavirus pandemic began to spread and shut down regular life in America though, Disney wanted to bring the film to Disney+ for audiences stuck at home and looking for something to stream. Disney's Bob Iger reached out to the Hamilton team to see if they would allow for the film's early release rather than a theatrical debut, and they initially said no.
“I thought we should stay the course, but I confess that was early in the epidemic, when we thought we might go back to work in the summer,” producer Jeffrey Seller told The New York Times. “As the profundity of this pandemic set in, and I realized we’re not coming back this year, I thought we should reconsider.”
The filmed version of Hamilton was produced in 2016 with the original Broadway cast and sat on an encrypted hard drive for a few years before finally being sold to Disney. It's worth noting that this deal doesn't give Disney the rights to make an actual feature film adaptation of the show, something that Miranda still holds the rights to and is unsure if it will ever happen. Should that happen it would naturally give Miranda an even bigger pay day.