Next to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, one of Broadway’s recent hits has been Dear Evan Hansen, a musical about a teen with social anxiety who writes a personal letter that gets into the wrong hands. Since it debuted in 2016, the coming-of-age story has become a hot ticket, and Universal is currently developing it into a film written by the original writer Steven Levenson and directed by Perks of Being A Wallflower’s Stephen Chbosky.
The Dear Evan Hansen cast has been really shaping up. Check out what we know so far about who will star in the musical film:
The lead of the film, playing Evan Hansen himself, will be Ben Platt, who played the role in the original Broadway cast and won a Tony for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical. Now at the age of 26, Platt has admitted he’s starting getting a little old to play a high school student, but it will be something special to see the actor behind the original cast recording to star in the film. Platt started out in movies in 2012’s Pitch Perfect and has since established himself as a recording artist and star of Netflix’s The Politician.
A particularly exciting addition to the Dear Evan Hansen cast announced per Variety is Amy Adams. The Oscar-nominated actress will return to a musical role for the first time since 2011’s The Muppets and previously starred in Disney’s Enchanted as Giselle. Adams will play Cynthia Murphy, the wealthy mother of Evan Hansen’s crush Zoe as well as Connor, who has a key role in the storyline.
Playing the daughter of Amy Adams’ character and Evan Hanson’s crush, Zoe, is Kaitlyn Dever, a 23-year-old actress who is coming off a massive year as the star of Olivia Wilde’s Booksmart and the Netflix hit Unbelievable. The actress is also well known for growing up on Last Man Standing as Tim Allen’s daughter, Eve. Evan’s relationship with Zoe is certainly a highlight to the musical, and we can’t wait to see Dever take on the role.
Playing the son of Amy Adam’s Cynthia and sister to Kaitlyn Dever’s Zoe is Colton Ryan, who also has roots in the Broadway musical. Colton Ryan was an understudy for the roles of Evan Hansen, Jared Kleinman and his role in the movie, Connor Murphy. Ryan has appeared in Homeland, 2019 comedy Adam and the AppleTV+ show Little Voice.
Amandla Stenberg has also recently joined the Dear Evan Hansen cast as Alana Beck, a shallow classmate Evan Hansen comes into contact with. She will reportedly have an expanded role in the movie that was not present in the Broadway musical. Stenberg got her start in The Hunger Games as Rue before growing up and starring in book adaptations for Everything, Everything, The Darkest Minds and The Hate U Give. The 21-year-old also starred in Netflix’s The Eddy earlier this year.
Portraying the husband of Amy Adams’ character, Larry Murphy, will be actor Danny Pino. In another change from the Broadway play, Pino will be playing Zoe and Connor’s stepfather instead of biological father. The actor is best known for playing Scotty Valens on Cold Case, Nick Amaro on Law and Order: SVU from 2011 to 2015, Universal’s Gone series and Mayans M.C.
Evan’s closest friend in the play is Jared Kleinman, who will be played by Nik Dodani. The actor is best known for his role in Netflix’s comedies Atypical and Trinkets. He was also in a number of 2018 episodes of Murphy Brown and the 2019 thriller Escape Room. He got his start as a stand-up comedian and has performed his set on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Julianne Moore filled the last principal role in Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen, when it was reported the Oscar-winner would be playing the role of Evan’s mother, Heidi Hansen. The part originated by Rachel Bay Jones in the original 2016 run earned her a Tony win for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, along with the musical nabbing Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score and Ben Platt’s win. Moore is the Still Alice and Far From Heaven award-winning actress, who will soon star with Amy Adams in Woman in the Window as well.
In the midst of the filming of Dear Evan Hansen, the movie has added a Broadway breakout star Isaac Powell to play the role of a high school jock named Rhys. The casting announcement will mark the actor’s first movie following his critically acclaimed work in the 2020 Broadway revival of West Side Story and previously being a part of the 2017 Broadway revival and Grammy-winning cast album of Once On This Island.
It’s an exciting cast being assembled for the upcoming musical. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more updates on Dear Evan Hansen.
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Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.