Musical theater aficionados, Sept. 24 is going to be a good day and here’s why: Universal is debuting the movie adaptation of “Dear Evan Hansen” in theaters.
Ben Platt is reprising his Tony-winning role as the title character in “Dear Evan Hansen,” a cinematic retelling of the popular Broadway musical created by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. The show centers on Evan Hansen, an anxious and isolated high school student. After the suicide of his classmate Connor Murphy, Evan inadvertently gets caught up in a lie as Connor’s parents mistake one of Hansen’s letters for their son’s suicide note.
Numerous movies that were scheduled for 2021 have already been delayed because of the pandemic. However, “Dear Evan Hansen” has a better chance than most of keeping its fall release date. That’s because Universal forged an early premium video-on-demand agreement with cinema chains AMC and Cinemark. Under the pact, the studio can debut new movies on home entertainment after 17 days without fear that major theater circuits will boycott.
Stephen Chbosky (“The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” “Wonder”) directed the film from a script by Steven Levenson, who wrote the book of the stage musical. The cast also includes Kaitlyn Dever, Amandla Stenberg, Amy Adams and Julianne Moore.
“Dear Evan Hansen” opened on Broadway in December 2016 to rave reviews. It was nominated for nine Tony Awards and took home six, including best musical and best actor in a musical for Platt. The original Broadway cast album, which includes the catchy songs “You Will Be Found,” “Waving Through a Window” and “Sincerely, Me,” won a Grammy.
Ben Platt’s father Marc Platt, who produced “La La Land,” served as a producer for “Dear Evan Hansen” with Adam Seigel. Pasek, Paul, Levenson and Michael Bederman executive produced. Universal Pictures will distribute the film globally.