A filmed version of Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway musical premiered on Disney+ on July 3

By Dana Rose Falcone
July 07, 2020 02:26 PM
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Hamilton will have to throw away its shot at winning an Oscar next year.

After a filmed version of the stage production launched Friday on Disney+, fans have started to wonder if the historically-based musical could see Academy Awards glory in 2021.

In April, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changed its rules so that streaming movies that originally planned theatrical runs would now be eligible to earn a Best Picture nomination. The change came as many films moved to digital premieres as theaters closed due to coronavirus concerns. In previous years, movies distributed by streaming platforms needed to play in movie theaters for a minimum of seven days in order to meet requirements.

Unfortunately, the updated rule doesn't help Hamilton since language added to the Academy Awards guidelines in 1997 disqualifies recorded stage performances. (Disney+'s Hamilton filmed over three nights in 2016.) The adjustment came after Sir Laurence Olivier picked up a Best Actor nomination in 1966 for his blackface portrayal of Othello in a hybrid stage/film production from the National Theatre, and James Whitmore earned a nod in the same category 10 years later for playing Harry S. Truman in a recorded version of the one-man show Give ’em Hell, Harry!

Lin-Manuel Miranda in Hamilton
Walt Disney Studios

An AMPAS source also told Vulture that "as a recorded stage production, Hamilton is not eligible for awards consideration."

Hamilton will, however, be eligible for Emmy consideration if it enters in the outstanding variety special (pre-recorded) category. The Television Academy restructured its variety special and special class categories ahead of the 2018 Emmys as variety special (live), which includes award shows, and variety special (pre-recorded), for pre-taped specials like Hamilton.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway show already picked up 11 Tony Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and a Grammy, and gave Disney+ a major surge in subscribers; Downloads were up 74% over the holiday weekend.

Hamilton is streaming now on Disney+.

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