‘You should get one with your Covid jab’: can musicals save cinema?

They led the fightback against the Great Depression. Now, after a year that left the planet in anguish and movie-going in dire straits, get ready for a joyous, high-kicking year of singing and dancing

In 2020, all bets were off. When spring came and screen after screen shut its doors, a chorus line of studios scrambled to postpone prize properties until a time when it might be viable for cinema audiences to see them.

But one big film did the opposite, the studio bringing forward its planned cinema release of October 2021 a full 17 months, to 3 July 2020, for a Disney+ premiere. Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s revisionist rap-musical about the founding fathers, was already a mould-breaker. Now, its lightly styled film version can also claim to be the most-streamed movie in a year in which people did little but stream movies.

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