Has Lin-Manuel Miranda already written his next Broadway musical?
The “Hamilton” creator recently dropped hints that “Encanto,” the Disney
animated film for which he contributed eight songs, could be adapted for the stage. “I think it weirdly lends itself well,” he told E! News.
He added that not all musical films are primed for such a theatrical adaptation. “Like, I can’t picture a ‘Moana’ Broadway musical. I don’t know how you’d do the ocean,” he said.
Miranda also told E! News that his first version of one of the songs in the film, “All of You,” clocked in at seven minutes. It was ultimately shortened for the movie, but he thinks the lengthier take would work for the stage as a closing number. “I’ve got the Broadway finale like in the chamber,” he said.
“Encanto,” which tells the story of a family with magical powers, has clearly found an audience. The picture has taken in $237 million globally at the box office since its cinematic release in late November, according to the Box Office Mojo website. But it also became a word-of-mouth hit when it was released on the Disney+ network in late December and has ranked among the most-watched streaming movies of late.
Perhaps just as important: Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songs for the movie have become instant favorites. In particular, “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” has topped the Billboard charts.
Miranda also said “Encanto” could live on as a television series or another film. “it would be wonderful to expand on it,” he noted.
Disney has long made its mark on Broadway, with such theatrical adaptations of popular pictures as “The Lion King,” which opened in 1997 on the Great White Way and is still playing today, and “Aladdin.”
Not all of Disney’s Broadway shows have become long-running hits, however. An adaptation of “Frozen” opened in 2018, then closed when all Broadway theaters shuttered in 2020 because of the pandemic. Disney ultimately decided not to bring it back when Broadway theaters reopened.
Still, Lin-Manuel Miranda has already proved himself to be Broadway gold. The Tony Award-winning “Hamilton” continues its run as what is arguably the most successful musical in modern Broadway history — with sales that have topped a half-billion dollars to date, and with ticket prices that have often hit the $850 mark, if not higher. (Even then, some economic experts say the show has underpriced itself.)
Officials with Disney’s theatrical division declined to comment on whether a stage version of “Encanto” is a possibility.
Regardless of what happens with “Encanto,” Miranda can take satisfaction in knowing that his work on the picture has resulted in an Oscar nomination — for his song “Dos Oruguitas” in the best original song category.