By SARAH SHMERLING| Editor-in-Chief
Two actors who have trained at Palisades institutions have roles in the upcoming film version of musical “Dear Evan Hansen”: Ben Platt and Amy Adams.
Platt, with roles in the “Pitch Perfect” film series and Netflix comedy-drama “The Politician,” trained at the Pacific Palisades iteration of The Adderley School.
Adams started her career with Theatre Palisades before landing roles in “The Fighter,” “American Hustle” and others. Her first major role was in Palisadian Steven Spielberg’s biopic film “Catch Me If You Can” in 2002.
Directed by Stephen Chbosky with a screenplay by Steven Levenson, the film adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen” is based on the 2015 Tony Award-winning musical by Levenson, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The musical was recently described by The Hollywood Reporter as Broadway’s “biggest hit since ‘Hamilton.’”
The film is produced by Adam Siegel and Marc Platt, Ben’s father. In the film, which is a coming-of-age tale, Platt reprises his performance of the title role, which he played on stage.
“‘Dear Evan Hansen’ follows Evan Hansen, an anxious and isolated high school student who writes letters to himself,” according to a synopsis in Variety. “Evan’s classmate Connor Murphy gets a hold of one of his letters and dies by suicide with the note in his pocket, leading Connor’s parents to believe it was a suicide note addressed to Evan. Soon, Evan gets caught in a complicated lie, pretending to have been Connor’s friend and forming a fabricated relationship with the Murphy family.”
The film includes roles by Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Nik Dodani, Colton Ryan, Danny Pino and Julianne Moore.
Universal Pictures is reported to have first purchased the film rights to the musical in November 2018. The film is expected to be “a faithful adaptation of the musical” with changes made to the portrayals of the show’s characters, as well as the omission of five songs. Platt reportedly noted that the ending was altered for the film as well.
“The breathtaking, generation-defining Broadway phenomenon becomes a soaring cinematic event as Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Ben Platt reprises his role as an anxious, isolated high schooler aching for understanding and belonging amid the chaos and cruelty of the social-media age,” according to one review on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Dear Evan Hansen” is currently scheduled to have its world premier at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, followed by a September 24 release in theaters by Universal Pictures.
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