Walt Disney Pictures might have removed the moist, spit-flecked lip that has made Hamilton's King George (Jonathan Groff) a popular meme in the wake of the movie-musical's success -- but creator Lin-Manuel Miranda wasn't having it. According to a new interview with producer Jon Kamen, the performance -- captured live at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway and originally filmed for a theatrical release -- caught the eye of editors, who offered to remove the distracting moments from the shot in post-production. Miranda, likely in the spirit of live theatre, which the movie hoped to capture as best it could, shot the idea down.
The moment became an instant meme on social media, aided in no small part by the film's unexpected digital release on Disney+ following the closing of cinemas amid the coronavirus pandemic. But, with a little input from Miranda, the moment did not become another debacle like Superman's mustache, at least.
"We said 'don't worry, we can clean that up — they were like 'No, leave it!,'" Kamen told IndieWire.
The Hamilton cast had filmed the show while they were all still together, nearly four years ago, and earlier this year, word came that it would be released theatrically. However, with the entire theatrical release schedule being forced to change due to the coronavirus pandemic, Disney and the Hamilton creative team decided to release straight to the Disney+ streaming service over July 4th weekend, so that everyone could enjoy it from home. It has since become one of the platform's most-watched videos.
The Hamilton film was shot at The Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway in June 2016, and it features the entire original cast. That includes Lin-Manuel Miranda (who also wrote the show), Daveed Diggs, Renee Elise Goldsberry, Leslie Odom Jr., Christopher Jackson, Jonathan Groff, Phillip Soo, Jasmine Cephas, Okieriete Onadowan, and Anthony Ramos. The film was directed by Tommy Kail.
"I'm so proud of how beautifully Tommy Kail has brought Hamilton to the screen. He's given everyone who watches this film the best seat in the house," said Lin-Manuel Miranda. "I'm so grateful to Disney and Disney+ for reimagining and moving up our release to July 4th weekend of this year, in light of the world turning upside down. I'm so grateful to all the fans who asked for this, and I'm so glad that we're able to make it happen. I'm so proud of this show. I can't wait for you to see it."
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