The cultural penetration of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is so complete at this point that John goddamn Bolton is naming his memoir in clear reference to a Hamilton song, and so I suppose it’s unsurprising to report this news to you: That Disney will be bringing the musical to movie theaters everywhere next year.
October 2021 is a long time away, sure, but LMM is a busy guy until then—In the Heights is in post-production right now for Warner Bros., he’s directing Tick, Tick … Boom for Netflix, and he probably holds some PR responsibilities for the next season of His Dark Materials. And Disney will, of course, be slamming more live-action-adaptation content down our throats in 2021, including that Cruella origin story, and because franchises never die, there are new installments of Thor, Indiana Jones, and Avatar coming in 2021, too.
But maybe this is a blessing in disguise! I mean, as much of a blessing as anything from Disney can be! Because look again at that Twitter announcement: The original Broadway cast is on board for this film! Which, honestly, is a major get, because so many of these performers have gone on to other theater, film, and TV projects since Hamilton debuted on Broadway in 2015. And to refresh your memory, here are the members of that original cast, what they’ve been up to, and what you should check them out in. You have roughly 22 months to work through this all; you better get on it.
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA (ALEXANDER HAMILTON)
What have they been up to: Uh, everything? LMM has been up to everything. Writing songs for Moana, co-starring in Mary Poppins Returns, cameoing in Star Wars, making an instantly memorable Drunk History episode. His earnestness is endless and, honestly, somewhat understandably off-putting for people, but LMM always is who he is, which I have to respect.
What you should watch: I didn’t enjoy him as Lee Scoresby in His Dark Materials, but if you want something different from LMM, go with that. And I have to mention that he does a lot of voices in DuckTales, because I love our very own Tori Preston, DuckTales aficionado, and I want her to love me back.
PHILLIPA SOO (ELIZA HAMILTON)
What have they been up to: Soo has stayed pretty thoroughly in theater mode since Hamilton, originating the lead role in Amélie and also appearing in The Parisian Woman. She also starred in the CBS drama The Code, which was canceled by CBS after one season, which I am shocked by because I did not know that CBS canceled shows about the military. They just … always seem to have one going. That’s their whole thing!
What you should watch: Keep an eye out for the film The Broken Heart Galley, which Soo has a role in alongside the excellent Geraldine Viswanathan of Blockers and Hala and Utkarsh Ambudkar of the Pitch Perfect films and Brittany Runs a Marathon. The description sounds somewhat early 2000s—“A brokenhearted New York museum curator begins a collection of things connected to break-ups and writes about it on her blog”—but hey, you never know.
LESLIE ODOM JR. (AARON BURR)
What have they been up to: Leslie Odom, like LMM, has been working quite a bit! On the one hand, there were those Nationwide commercials, which didn’t seem to make much sense with his brand. But Odom also was memorably quite good in Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express and Kasi Lemmons’s Harriet, and he’s friendly with Billy Porter because of their shared theater background, and honestly, I am very jealous of that.
What you should watch: Murder on the Orient Express is fine, and if you need your Odom fix immediately, get on that. But Odom’s upcoming projects sound more fascinating, including The Many Saints of Newark, a prequel to HBO’s The Sopranos in which Odom will act alongside Alessandro Nivola, Jon Bernthal, Vera Farmiga, and Corey Stoll, and Regina King’s directorial debut One Night in Miami, in which Odom will play singer and civil rights activist Sam Cooke.
RENÉE ELISE GOLDSBERRY (ANGELICA SCHUYLER)
What have they been up to: When I brought up this post idea in the Pajiba slack, the one person everyone kept geeking out about was Goldsberry, who certainly has been in a lot of good shit! The Good Wife, which was prestigious! The House with a Clock in Its Walls, which was way deeper than I anticipated for a kid’s movie! Documentary Now!, which Tori insisted I mention! And Waves, the A24 flick that was much talked about last year and that is now on Hulu!
What you should watch: The first season of Altered Carbon on Netflix, in which Goldsberry plays resistance leader and revolutionary Quellcrist Falconer, one of the dopest names in all of fiction. Although the show changed quite a bit about the character from how she was conceived in the original novel by Richard K. Morgan, Goldsberry gives a great performance and folds fully into the sci-fi world, which is impressive for an actress you would mostly recognize from, well, Hamilton, which is a very different thing!
CHRISTOPHER JACKSON (GEORGE WASHINGTON)
What have they been up to: Christopher Jackson, like Okieriete Onaodowan, has found a nice home on broadcast TV! I mean, yes, he’s on Bull, that CBS show on which Eliza Dushku was sexually harassed. So THAT’S not great! But Jackson also sang in Moana, and I think we can all agree that is very good and welcome.
What you should watch: When They See Us, in which Jackson plays the lawyer Peter Rivera, who represented Marquis Rodriguez’s Raymond Santana, one of the accused Central Park Five. Get a bunch of tissues ready and prepare for an onslaught of never-ending rage.
DAVEED DIGGS (MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE/THOMAS JEFFERSON)
What have they been up to: I think it would be safe to say that Daveed Diggs has been as much of a breakout star as LMM post-Hamilton, and I appreciate that Diggs has been appearing in projects that all seem to have a specific point of view and something intentional to say. He contributed a song to Zootopia, he appeared in the very kind Wonder, he voiced a character in Ferdinand and in the TV show Star Wars Resistance. Look, he also appeared in Velvet Buzzsaw, but I don’t know how to explain that! Fine, it doesn’t fit my thesis!
What you should watch: I personally think Diggs is very charming and likable in guest spots on black-ish and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, but the answer here is Blindspotting. You HAVE to watch Blindspotting. There’s nothing more to say about that. Oh, and take note that the TNT spinoff of Snowpiercer will finally debut on May 31; Diggs stars in that alongside Jennifer Connelly and Alison Wright, our beloved Martha from The Americans.
OKIERIETE ONAODOWAN (HERCULES MULLIGAN/JAMES MADISON)
What have they been up to: Okieriete Onaodowan’s “I’m running with the sons of liberty and I am loving it!” is my absolute favorite part of the Hamilton original cast recording, and I’m pleased to realize that Onaodowan is making that broadcast TV money by appearing on a bunch of shows I don’t watch. Station 19! Grey’s Anatomy! Plus, appearances on Netflix’s The Get Down and Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It! That’s all very exciting and I am pleased.
What you should watch: Netflix canceled The Get Down too early, but at least you can still watch the two seasons that did get made. That’s my vote! Get into that lush Baz Luhrmann opulence!
ANTHONY RAMOS (JOHN LAURENS/PHILIP HAMILTON)
What have they been up to: Hamilton was Ramos’s big break, and since then he’s popped up in supporting roles in the crowd pleaser Patti Cake$ and the Will and Grace revival. He’ll star in In the Heights.
What you should watch: A Star is Born, in which Ramos plays Ally’s friend Ramon. Yes, I still like this movie (shrug). But really, you should watch Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It series adaptation on Netflix, in which Ramos co-stars as Mars Blackmon and is very, very charming.
JASMINE CEPHAS JONES (PEGGY SCHUYLER/MARIA REYNOLDS)
What have they been up to: The Hamilton crew often sticks together, and so you’ll recognize Jasmine Cephas Jones from Blindspotting; she played Ashley, girlfriend to Rafael Casal’s Miles. Her push-pull with Casal was a great component of the film, and an upcoming Starz spinoff of the movie currently in development will focus on her.
What you should watch: HBO’s Mrs. Fletcher, which Dustin wrote about for us and in which Jones has a supporting role. She’s also basically a glorified extra in Marriage Story, and she’ll appear in the upcoming Issa Rae/Lakeith Stanfield romantic drama The Photograph.
JONATHON GROFF (KING GEORGE III)
What have they been up to: After a very successful theater career, including Hamilton, Groff has increasingly branched into TV. He was on Glee with real-life friend Lea Michele, starred on HBO’s Looking and its spinoff TV movie, and is, of course, the star of David Fincher’s Mindhunter, on which he is VERY GOOD and GODDAMMIT THERE SHOULD BE A THIRD SEASON.
What you should watch: I’m assuming you’ve already seen a little movie called Frozen and its equally little sequel, Frozen 2, so yeah, I’m recommending Mindhunter here. Don’t watch at night or alone. Prepare for nightmares. The world is a bad place!
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