The original Broadway production features enough expletives to trigger an R-rating based on rules established by the Motion Picture Association of America, the organization that dispenses parental guidance on film content. However, Disney rarely releases movies with an R-rating so some four-letter words have been censored or edited out.
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“We have 3 “F—” in our show,” Miranda wrote Monday on Twitter. “I literally gave two f— so the kids could see it: 1. In Yorktown, there’s a mute over “I get the f___ back up again” 2. “Southern *record scratch*kin’ Democratic Republicans.” You can sing whatEVER you like at home (even sync up the album)!”
“Hamilton,” which opened on Broadway in 2015 and quickly became the hottest ticket in town, uses hip-hop to tell the story of founding father and America’s first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton. Numerous songs feature colorful language, with two — “Yorktown” and “Washington on Your Side” — including the f-word. Other songs, such as “The Adams Administration” and “Say No to This,” already censor the f-word for comedic effect.
Film ratings are given by the MPAA. “A motion picture’s single use of one of the harsher sexually-derived words, though only as an expletive, initially requires at least a PG-13 rating. More than one such expletive requires an R rating,” the group explains on its website.
“Hamilton” does have gun violence and sexually suggestive material. However, it is highly stylized and there is no nudity.
For a time, Disney would release R-rated movies to its Touchstone and Hollywood Pictures labels, but the studio has become more focused on family friendly fare in recent years. The company does make R-rated movies via 20th Century and Searchlight Pictures, which it acquired when Disney merged in 2019 with Rupert Murdoch’s film empire.
At the Oscars in February, Miranda told New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan, “If we have to mute a word here or there to reach the largest audience possible, I’m OK with that, because your kids already have the original language memorized. I don’t think we’re depriving anyone of anything if we mute an f-bomb here or there to make our rating.”
“Hamilton” was scheduled to release in theaters in 2021, but it moved to Disney Plus and was pushed up to July 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The film version offers up the rare chance to see “Hamilton” with its original company, including Miranda as Alexander Hamilton, Daveed Diggs as Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson, Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr, Christopher Jackson as George Washington, Jonathan Groff as King George, Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica Schuyler and Phillipa Soo as Eliza Hamilton. Thomas Kail directed “Hamilton” both for the stage and screen. The adaptation coming to Disney Plus was recorded live at the Richard Rodgers Theatre in New York City.
“What I’m most excited about [is] you all have that friend that is like, ‘I saw it with the original cast.’ We’re stealing that brag from everyone because you’re all going to see it with the original cast,” Miranda previously told Variety.
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