Everything We Know About The Dear Evan Hansen Movie


Like so many beloved Broadway shows before it, Dear Evan Hansen is getting the movie treatment—and with its original star, Ben Platt, attached for the lead role. Returning to the role as a 27-year-old will prove an interesting challenge for the actor, who last performed as Hansen onstage in 2017, and whose roles since (namely, in The Politician) have drifted away from the awkward teen Platt portrayed for eight gut-wrenching performances a week.

Still, after the film’s trailer released on May 18, there’s little doubt that Platt remembers every contour of his Hansen performance, settling easily into the part—even if he doesn’t quite look it. As we anticipate the September release, here’s everything we know about Dear Evan Hansen’s cinematic debut. Go ahead and get your tissues ready.

The movie will be based on the hit stage musical.

In November 2018, it was confirmed that Universal Pictures had acquired the film rights to the smash-hit musical from Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul. Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a high school student who suffers from anxiety and other mental health issues, and whose white lie after a classmate’s suicide spirals beyond his control.

The original Broadway production opened in December 2016 at the Music Box Theatre and has been playing to regularly sold-out crowds ever since. (The production is currently paused due to the coronavirus pandemic but will reopen in December.) DEH was nominated for nine Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical, Best Original Score, and acting trophies for Platt as Lead Actor and Rachel Bay Jones as Featured Actress.

The release date has finally been announced.

Universal Pictures officially revealed the movie will debut in theaters on September 24, 2021. There’s no word yet about when the film will be available to stream. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below.

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Ben Platt will reprise his Broadway role as Evan Hansen.

Platt gave his final performance in the role of Evan Hansen on Broadway in November 2017, but he’ll play the character again in the film adaptation, Universal Pictures confirmed.

In September 2019, while promoting his Netflix series The Politician, Platt was vague about returning to the role. “It’s unclear at this point,” he told the New York Times. “It’s being developed and certainly if it comes together in the next year or so, when everyone can forgive me for still playing a teenager, then yeah, I would love to do it.” In March 2020, Platt more definitively told People, “I’d love to go back to it.”

Julianne Moore will play Heidi Hansen.

Oscar winner Moore will play Hansen’s mother Heidi, Deadline reports. This will be one of her first musical roles onscreen, playing the role for which Rachel Bay Jones won a Tony in 2017.

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Amy Adams will play Cynthia Murphy.

Adams and her six Academy Award nominations are headed to Dear Evan Hansen. She’s playing Cynthia Murphy, mother of Zoe and Connor. Adams is no stranger to a musical role—she sang onscreen in Disney’s Enchanted and The Muppets. Plus, she performed live during the 2008 Oscars, where she sang Enchanted’s “Happy Working Song.”

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Her character’s husband is played by Danny Pino of FX’s Mayans M.C., according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever will play Zoe.

Kaitlyn Dever will play Evan’s love interest, Zoe Murphy. That’s the female lead in the film and will be Devee’s first major musical role onscreen. Deadline notes that she has previously written and performed songs for the soundtrack of 2018’s Tully, starring Charlize Theron. Dever also co-starred with Platt’s real-life best friend and Merrily co-star Beanie Feldstein in last year’s Booksmart. Onstage, Laura Dreyfuss (The Politician) played Zoe, who dates Evan over the course of the musical.

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One of the actors playing Zoe’s friends in the film will be DeMarius Copes, Deadline reports. He’s an actor best known for starring in Broadway’s Mean Girls and will assume the role of Oliver.

The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg will play Alana.

Variety reported that Stenberg will play an “expanded” version of Alana in Dear Evan Hansen. Originally played by Broadway newcomer Kristolyn Lloyd, Alana is a high school senior whose inner struggles are hidden by her optimism and social media finesse. The outlet also reports that Stenberg will perform an original song in the movie, which they’ll pen with Paskek and Paul.

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Stephen Chbosky will direct with the creative team from Broadway’s Dear Evan Hansen returning.

Most of the creative team involved in the Tony-winning production of DEH has returned for the film adaptation. Music and lyrics will come from Pasek and Paul, inspired by their stage work. Since Dear Evan Hansen’s success, the musical duo went on to win an Oscar for La La Land’s “City of Stars” and were nominated for The Greatest Showman’s “This Is Me.” Pasek and Paul will also executive produce the film, alongside Marc Platt (Ben’s father) and Adam Siegel.

The script will come from Steven Levenson, who wrote the stage musical’s book. Levenson is also penning the scripts for upcoming big-screen musicals including Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tick, Tick…Boom! and a Fiddler on the Roof remake. Filmmaker Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Wonder) will direct the movie. Director Michael Greif (original Broadway productions of Rent and Next to Normal) helmed the stage version.

The film will feature new scenes—and two new songs.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Platt revealed that the film will delve deeper into the fallout of Hansen’s lie, especially once the truth is revealed and his relationships irrevocably damaged.

“I think the main change, other than the fact that there are two new songs, is a kind of extended third act of the film in which we get to see a little bit more of Evan’s repentance and redemption and the work that he does subsequently to make amends and really get to know who Connor was and try to help the family heal,” he said.

He also mentioned that the movie will not be a page-by-page adaptation of the show’s script, and will instead feature new scenes that flesh out the other characters—in particular, Stenberg’s Alana. “I think there’s nothing major gone that anyone’s going to miss,” Platt said. “All of the major beats and all of the favorite songs are very much intact, and all of the characters are even more developed.”

This will be Platt’s final, final performance as Hansen.

The actor also revealed to Vanity Fair that he has no intentions to reprise the role once DEH makes its way to screens. “It was very cathartic to put a final stamp on each scene and each song as we went along and say goodbye to it individually,” he said. “And really know that this time, for sure—without the, like, looming promise of an adaptation—that this was going to really be the last time.”

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