Lin-Manuel Miranda is unequivocally the busiest person in showbusiness. Creating, writing the music, writing the book, and starring in a single Broadway play is a herculean undertaking that necessitates immense focus, but that Miranda was able to do this and come out the other side with a bona fide masterpiece called Hamilton is a superhuman feat. And yet, while Miranda was working on Hamilton, he was also busy juggling other plates as well. He wrote music and songs for Disney’s upcoming Moana before Hamilton was a hit, and he wrote the new cantina song for Maz Kanata’s palace alongside J.J. Abrams for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. And now that Miranda’s tenure on Broadway has come to an end (for Hamilton at least, he’ll be back!), he’s adding even more massive undertakings to his to-do list.
Miranda recently moved to London where he’ll be spending 2017 rehearsing and filming his co-lead role in the live-action Disney sequel Mary Poppins Returns, and he’s also set to work on Disney’s upcoming live-action The Little Mermaid in some capacity. However, Miranda is also cooking up a new animated feature with the studio and Zootopia co-director Byron Howard.
Speaking with Vulture, Miranda revealed he’s just began developing a secret Disney movie from the ground up, which came about during his work on Moana:
“That’s the fun thing about working with someone and having it go well — you go, ‘Okay, what else can we do?. [John] Lasseter took me aside and said, ‘I have an idea: Here’s Byron, and you guys should start talking.'” Though he was excited, Miranda couldn’t say much else about the project, except to caution that it could take years to bear fruit, given the glacial pace of animated production. “We literally haven’t gotten in the room yet,” he said, “but we’re plotting.”
The destined-to-be EGOT-winning performer also declined to say much about The Little Mermaid beyond the fact that he has original songwriter Alan Menken’s blessing and he’s scared out of his mind:
“If this requires new music, I’m here for that, and if this requires me weighing in on who makes this thing, I’m here for that. If this requires me just saying, ‘That doesn’t look like it’s underwater,’ I’m even here for that! It’s going to be a huge challenge to not make it feel uncanny valley–ish.” And if it requires Miranda to take a role himself, then what? “I’m such a fan that I can’t picture where I’d fit into that universe,” he said. “But no matter what, I’m here for the ride.”
Indeed, while Lin-Manuel Miranda is no longer playing Hamilton, we can expect to see a lot of him over the next few years and beyond. And no doubt while he’s using this “free time” to dabble more in the feature film world, we’ll learn years from now that he was simultaneously crafting his next Broadway opus.