BY: PHEOBE HORIBE
In 2017, the hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen won six Tony awards including the award for Best Musical. In 2018, Universal Pictures announced they were turning the musical into a film. Now, four years after the show began on Broadway and two years after the movie was announced, we finally have enough details to get a picture of what is headed our way. Because we think your feed could use a dose of sunshine, here’s everything we know about the Dear Evan Hansen film so far.
Who’s in the cast and how have their roles changed?
Last week, it was announced that Amy Adams would be joining the cast as Cynthia Murphy (Zoe and Connor Murphy’s mom). The Oscar-nominated actress has participated in musical-movies before including The Muppets in 2011 and Enchanted in 2007.
Cynthia’s husband, Larry Murphy, will be portrayed by Danny Pino. Pino is best known for his television roles on Cold Case, Law & Order: SVU, and Mayans M.C. on FX. In the Broadway production, Larry Murphy is the biological father of Zoe and Connor Murphy, but for the film, they have changed his relationship to their step-father. Kaitlyn Dever, who starred in the film Booksmart alongside Hello, Dolly! actress Beanie Feldstein (who happens to be Jonah Hill’s sister and Ben Platt’s best friend IRL), will be playing the role of Evan’s crush, Zoe Murphy. Colton Ryan, the former understudy on Broadway for the roles of Evan Hansen, Jared Kleinman, Connor Murphy, will be playing the role of Connor Murphy who is Zoe Murphy’s brother. In other words, the Murphy family is already a pretty tight-knit group.
Amandla Stenberg will be playing the role of Alana Beck, Evan’s close classmate, where it’s said that her storyline will be expanded. In fact, there’s even talk of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul writing a new song for her character. Stenberg has starred in films like The Hate U Give and Everything, Everything. Rounding out the supporting cast is Nik Dodani, who has appeared on TV series such as Trinkets, Atypical, and Murphy Brown. He will take on the role of Jared Kleinman, Evan’s other friend in school.
What about the lead role, you ask? Tony-winner Ben Platt has both acknowledged that he’s getting “a little long in the tooth” to play the lead role, but also that if the film “comes together in the next year or so” he would love to do it. (Platt is now 26, for reference.) In other words, all signs point to Platt, but there hasn’t been an official announcement of this yet.
Who’s writing the film?
Lucky for us, the original team from Broadway has made the move to Hollywood. Steven Levenson, who wrote the book for the stage musical has also written the script for the film. Additionally, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, who penned the original lyrics for the musical, are working on the movie. As previously mentioned, part of that work might involve writing some new songs. (!)
Stephen Chbosky who directed feel-good films including Wonder and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, will direct the Dear Evan Hansen film.
Writer Steven Levenson alongside composer/lyricist team Benj Pasek and Justin Paul will all be Executive Producers on the film. Marc Platt — who is Ben Platt’s father — will also produce the film under his production company Marc Platt Productions. He produced past films including La La Land, Mary Poppins Returns, Into the Woods, and Nine as well as Broadway musicals including Wicked, If/Then, and War Paint. Adam Siegel who works closely with Marc Platt and his production company, will also be producing the film. Past producing credits include Grease Live!, A Christmas Story Live!, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, and Rent: Live.