The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences loves Hamilton as much as everybody else, but they have ruled that the filmed version of the blockbuster musical currently streaming on Disney+ will not be eligible for Oscar consideration. An academy spokesperson told Billboard that it considers this “a filmed version of the stage play, not a feature-length film.”
If you’re a serious Oscar expert—or just old—you may know that James Whitmore was Oscar-nominated for best actor 45 years ago for playing President Harry S. Truman in the one-man show, Give ‘em Hell, Harry! Following its official opening at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. in April 1975, the play went on a six-city tour. The performance at the Moore Theatre in Seattle was filmed. The resulting film was released that September.
The Oscars are aware of all that. The current rule barring filmed versions of stage plays was added in 1997.
The Oscars’ ruling, though not unexpected, was no doubt a disappointment to the Hamilton cast and crew, especially the producers, Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeffrey Seller. They would have been in line to receive nominations if the film had been up for best picture.
An Oscar would have made Miranda an EGOT. The multi-hyphenate has won three Tonys, three Grammys and an Emmy. He has been just an Oscar away from EGOT status since he won an Emmy six years ago (for co-writing special material for the 67th annual Tony Awards).
Hamilton, of course, has received enough awards to fill a museum, including a near-record 11 Tonys, a Grammy, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a special Kennedy Center Honors for the creative team – Miranda, Kail, Alex Lacamoire and Andy Blankenbuehler.