Rogers: The Musical Creative Team Reveals How Disneyland Show Began

(Photo: Disney Parks)

The real-life team behind Rogers: The Musical has revealed the process behind creating the one-act musical at Disney's California Adventure. Inspired by Hawkeye's viral moment, the show is currently captivating audiences at the sister park of Disneyland. In an interview with D23 Inside Disney, the creative team discussed how they expanded upon that brief scene from Disney+ to craft a complete half-hour production. According to writer Hunter Bell, the character of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, served as the guiding force for the musical. The inclusion of "Save the City" was a must because of its popularity among fans. Recognizing the need to cover a significant story arc in a limited timeframe, the Disney creatives focused on highlighting what makes Captain America such a beloved character.

Bell expressed his appreciation for the director Jordan Peterson, who conceived the idea beyond what was seen in Hawkeye. "It was a joy to collaborate and align with Jordan's vision and concepts," Bell explained. "And to see where Chris [Leonards], our lyricist, took it. Fortunately, the musical is titled Rogers: The Musical in Hawkeye, rather than Endgame or The Avengers, which gives you a clue that our main protagonist to follow is Steve Rogers."

"I'd confidently say that love stories lend themselves well to musical comedy," he smiled. "They are a perfect fit for the theatricality of musical theater. Additionally, Steve's character undergoes an incredible hero's journey from his initial introduction in the first film. Amidst all the adventures and battles, he holds onto his connection with Peggy. It was a brilliant concept to explore and follow that journey."

When Did Disney Decide To Bring Rogers The Musical Into Real Life?

Disneyland and Disney California Adventure executives were quick to embrace the idea of bringing Rogers: The Musical to life. Like countless fans watching the show, they were thrilled when the musical number appeared in Hawkeye. With enthusiasm brewing, they initiated discussions with their partners to work out the logistics. As the development process unfolded, it became evident that they had a remarkable production in their hands. Dan Fields, the executive creative director for Disney Live Entertainment, spoke with Reuters about the initial moments after they watched the Disney+ series.

"Right after we saw that first episode of the 'Hawkeye' series, our minds started racing with possibilities. We began to ask ourselves, 'What if? What if we could transform 'Rogers: The Musical' into a tangible show?'" Fields revealed. "And it was evident that fans online were pondering the same questions—they practically demanded it!"

He further elaborated, "When Kevin Feige and the studio presented 'Save the City' at the D23 Expo, it sparked conversations that eventually led to the incredible show that guests will have the pleasure of experiencing this summer at Disney California Adventure Park."

How Did Rogers: The Musical End Up in Hawkeye?

In the case of Hawkeye, the Marvel Cinematic Universe's notable musical moment originated from a simple idea. Head writer Jonathan Igla was driving to the Marvel Studios office when he passed a billboard for the musical Hamilton. Given the prominence of Steve Rogers in the MCU, he jokingly mentioned the concept of a musical centered around the character to Kevin Feige, the head of Marvel Studios. To his surprise, Feige was incredibly supportive of the idea.

"It was such a fun experience," Igla shared with the press on the red carpet. "Every day during my commute, my fiancé—who was also my second-in-command on the show—Lisa clam and I would drive by a 'Hamilton' billboard on our way to the writers' room. One morning, the thought of 'Rogers: The Musical' just popped into my head, and we started discussing it, and it grew from there."

"One of the fantastic aspects of working for Marvel is that if you have an idea, even if it starts out small or medium—I would say this one started out as medium—you can pitch it to them, and everyone gets excited and tickled by it," he continued. "They're willing to take it and run with it, making it even bigger. I'm genuinely thrilled for people to see the end result."

What Can You Expect From Rogers: The Musical?

Disneyland's official website states: "In theatrical splendor, relive the life of Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America! The musical retelling takes you from Steve's humble beginnings during World War II to becoming Captain America and leading the Avengers. Be on the lookout for appearances by Peggy Carter and Nick Fury—and watch some of your favorite Avengers assemble in epic, show-tune style. It's a larger-than-life one-act musical coming this summer for a limited time to the Hyperion Theater in Hollywood Land at Disney California Adventure Park."

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