Just Because They Can: "Hamilton" Film to Digitally Replace Daveed Diggs with Sassy, Rappin' Giraffe
by Zach Raffio. @zachraffio.
LOS ANGELES - Disney announced yesterday that they’ve acquired the rights to a June 2016 filming of the acclaimed Broadway phenomenon Hamilton, featuring the full original cast, with plans to release the film in theaters in October 2021. The studio followed up today by announcing that each cast member would be completely unaltered and unedited, except for Daveed Diggs, who will be replaced by a fun, sassy CGI giraffe “just because we can”, the studio confirmed.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing this theatrical milestone to the big screen,” noted Disney’s Head of Acquisitions, Dana Rumrov. “That being said, we have to put butts in seats, and kids love a big, sassy CGI animal rapping and messing around. We have all the capability to replace Daveed Diggs with a fun cartoon, and think his two characters in particular could really make this giraffe a marketable holiday item, so we’re gonna do it. We can, so we will.”
Disney confirmed that all of Diggs’ audio would remain the same, but that his body would be entirely replaced by a 19-foot, goofy-eyed giraffe that maybe does some fun dances and crazy pranks that Diggs didn’t get to perform in the original production. Some fans are already excited for the change.
“The original production is perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing,” noted Hamilton superfan Chris Lewis. “That being said, if Disney can replace someone in the cast with a giraffe who raps and maybe even skateboards - which they’ve made it clear they can - then we should just wait and see if that makes it even better.”
Some purists, on the other hand, were skeptical of what they referred to as a “cash grab”.
“Just leave the show alone. Not everything has to be changed just because you can,” noted local theater critic Lizzie Terrence. “Replacing Daveed Diggs’ Tony-winning performance with a large animated giraffe is disrespectful to his craft, no matter how accessible they’re trying to make the show, or how much they’re trying to show off their technical advancements.
We then showed Terrence a concept image for the giraffe, to which she provided comment.
“Oh… oh now that rules,” noted Terrence. “Yeah, I like that. And he’s gonna be rapping? And dancing around and acting crazy? Ok, nevermind, please make Daveed the giraffe. Make all of them the giraffes.”
At press time, producers were looking for a way to de-age Lin-Manuel Miranda so they could create something they call “Baby Hamilton”, partially for the marketing opportunities, and partially because, as a representative for Disney put it, “we can”.