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Dear Evan Hansen film adaptation finds its cast

Written by Film

After being rumoured for a while, a Dear Evan Hansen movie has been confirmed. Soon after this announcement, we have had cast update after cast update, with some interesting choices, to say the least. Will the film find its feet, or will it be ‘Waving Through a Window’?

If you aren’t aware of what Dear Evan Hansen is, it’s a Broadway/West End Show following a teen called Evan Hansen, who gets trapped in a spiral of his own lies after he pretends to be friends with another student called Connor Murphy, after his tragic suicide. Whilst he originally has good intentions, a genuine misunderstanding which turns into stories so that the family feels like Connor wasn’t alone, lies always eventually catch up with people. At the 2017 Tony Awards, Dear Evan Hansen won six awards, including Best Musical. So, it’s fair to say that after its huge success, people have been anticipating a film adaptation.

Image credit: IMDb

It has been confirmed that Ben Platt will reprise his role as Evan Hansen after being part of the OBC and winning multiple awards for his performance. Whilst I love Ben Platt, I’m not sure if this is the right call. We know Marc Platt is going to be a producer for the film, so maybe daddy Platt did some deals. I love Ben Platt’s voice and think he’s a brilliant actor, but he’s almost 27 and is going to play a teen in high school. On the stage, you’re far away and teenagers can’t work for many hours of the day, so we’re used to seeing older actors play younger roles in theatre. However, being 27 in a feature film playing a 17-year-old is…interesting. I think he’s really talented so I’ll try to stay optimistic, but I have my hesitations. Especially when they’ve cast Amandla Stenberg as Alana Beck, Evan’s classmate, and she’s 21.

Someone I am excited to see in this lineup is Kaitlyn Dever, who is rumoured to play Zoe Murphy. Dever and Platt have already worked on The Politician (2019) together, so we already know they have great chemistry. Nik Dodandi is set to play Evan’s friend Jared, and from seeing his work on Atypical (2017), I think this was a great decision. Colton Ryan will be Connor Murphy, and I’ve never seen his work, but I know that he understudied Ben Platt during his time on Dear Evan Hansen. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform such a critical role since he has starred in the musical production, and will know the part well.

I just hope it doesn’t turn into a weird teen coming-of-age film that romanticises the notions of anxiety, depression and suicide

An announcement that made me leap out of my seat is that Amy Adams will play Cynthia Murphy, Connor Murphy’s mother, and I pray that they give her some more singing. She is a wonderful actress, dancer and singer, and I can’t wait to see what she brings to the table. Alongside her will be Danny Pino, and reports seem to be mixed about whether he will play Larry Murphy, or Connor’s stepfather which is a role being created specifically for the film. Either way, I’m excited.

Image: Dear Evan Hansen

Whilst I personally wish that they went down the Hamilton route and recorded the OBC’s theatre performance, the casting choices have made me interested in the film. As a diehard Dear Evan Hansen fan, I just hope it doesn’t turn into a weird teen coming-of-age film that romanticises the notions of anxiety, depression and suicide. However, as Stephen Chbosky is directing it and he did such a great job with the similar topics presented in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, I have faith that it’s in the right hands, despite my own opinions on a film adaptation.

Featured Image: Dear Evan Hansen

Last modified: 2nd September 2020

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