Dear Evan Hansen Movie: Hot or Not?

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Sebastian Cantarilho ‘24, Staff Writer

Yes, the rumors are true! The 2017 hit-musical, Dear Evan Hansen, is being adapted into a film for the big screen. Dear Evan Hansen is the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Lead Actor in a Musical.  Filming has officially begun and will be produced by Mark Platt & Adam Siegel, directed by Stephen Chbosky, and written by Steven Levenson. The movie is also rumored to have the original songwriters and creators of the musical, Pasek and Paul, who are behind The Greatest Showman and La La Land, come back to work on the movie. 

Dear Evan Hansen, a modern musical that focuses on 17-year-old Evan Hansen, a high school senior who struggles with social anxiety. His mom, Heidi, and therapist encourage Evan to write letters to himself to sort through his feelings, but when Connor Murphy, one of his classmates, commits suicide and is found with a copy of Evan’s letters in his pocket, his life spirals. Because of the letter found with Connor, Connor’s parents think Evan and Connor were best friends! Evan Hansen’s urgency to fit into his school and community leads to a lie that changes his life: pretending he and Connor were best friends. Through fake emails and letters to a whole organization dedicated to Connor, Evan Hansen becomes close with the Murphy family. Throughout the musical, we see social media and mental health themes, along with the unification of a stereotypically divided school. With jaw-dropping music and a great plot, this musical will be a smash hit for the big screen.

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So far, there is a great cast, with some young newcomers, as well as A-List Actors. Ben Platt, who played Evan Hansen in the original Broadway cast, will reprise his film’s role. Best known for Pitch Perfect and The Politician, Ben Platt is a rising star who has the singing and acting chops to pull off this complicated yet heartfelt character. Best known for her work in Booksmart, Kaitlyn Dever will play Connor Murphy’s sister, Zoe Murphy, and the love interest for Evan. For the infamous role of Connor Murphy, Colton Ryan, who understudies Connor in the original Broadway cast, will play the part.

Amandla Stenberg, best known for her work in The Hate U Give and Everything, Everything, will be playing a classmate of Evan’s: Alana Beck. Unlike the musical, Stenberg is getting her own song for the movie and is co-writing it with Pasek and Paul. Alana’s friend, Oliver, will be played by DeMarius Copes. His credits include being part of the original cast of Mean Girls the Musical, playing an ensemble member. Lastly, actor Nik Dodani, best known for his work in Atypical, will be playing Jared Kleinman, who is a family friend of Evan’s and attends school with him. 

More A-List Actors, such as TV star Julianne Moore, known for Still Alice, and Amy Adams, known for Enchanted, will be joining the project as Heidi Hansen and Cynthia Murphy. Danny Pino, who worked on the TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, will be playing Larry Murphy. There will be a significant change regarding the Murphy parents. Unlike the musical, the movie will feature Larry Murphy as the stepdad of Zoe and Connor instead of their biological father.

With a well-rounded cast, some interesting changes, and a great plot, I can expect this movie to be just as great, if not better, than the live musical. When sharing news of the movie adaptation of Dear Evan Hansen, GC freshman Maryana Dumenko quoted, “DEH (Dear Evan Hansen) does an amazing job of showing people of all ages the way mental health affect(s) how we function. It’s such an important issue that gets pushed aside a lot.”

How do you feel about this movie adaptation? Do you think it’s worth the time? Make sure to take our poll!