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Dear Evan Hansen - What We Know So Far

After successful runs on Broadway and in London and a North American tour, the live musical "Dear Evan Hansen" has been adapted for the big screen. The original premiered to the world in 2015 and got its Broadway debut in 2016 inside Manhattan's Music Box Theatre. After winning six Tony Awards in 2017, the musical broke the theater's record for highest gross at a Broadway house that seats under 1,000 (per Playbill). 

With so many people clamoring to see the musical, it was only a matter of time before the film rights were scooped up by a Hollywood studio. In 2018, producer Marc Platt signed a deal with Universal Pictures to produce the film version of the play (via Deadline). His son, Ben Platt, who portrayed Evan Hansen for the show's original run, will reprise his role for the film. With its success on the stage, the family drama is sure to make an impact on all types of audiences when it hits theaters. Here's everything we know so far about "Dear Evan Hansen."

When is Dear Evan Hansen being released?

On May 18, Universal Pictures released an official trailer for the film, which also revealed the film's release date: "Dear Evan Hansen" will premiere exclusively in theaters on Friday, September 24, 2021. The highly anticipated film is one of the movies being used to stir moviegoers back into theater seats later this year. Its Friday release will compete with Marvel's "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" and "The Saints of Newark," the film prequel to HBO's "The Sopranos." The Marvel film will also have an exclusive theater release, according to HITC, while the latter will premiere in theaters and on HBO Max simultaneously (per Comicbook.com).

"Dear Evan Hansen" the musical is set to return to the Broadway stage on December 11, 2021. New dates have also been announced for a new North American tour and a London run. While you wait, fill that musical void by watching composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's past film credits, like "La La Land" and "The Greatest Showman."

Who's in the cast for Dear Evan Hansen?

Despite already having made his onscreen singing debut in "Pitch Perfect," actor Ben Platt told NME he experienced some trepidation when it came to reprising the role for the film. "I think I was nervous about having to meet that same level in a medium that I'm not necessarily as instinctually comfortable in," he said. Platt eventually overcame the nerves by shifting his point of view. "Having an opportunity to share this story with, like, millions more people is ultimately much more important than my being worried that my performance won't be as good as it was on stage," he told the outlet. Director Stephen Chbosky told Vanity Fair that the main goal of the movie was to capture Platt's incomparable performance. "I couldn't imagine anyone else playing it," he said.

Joining Platt is Kaitlyn Dever as Evan's crush and Connor's sister, Zoe. In August 2020, Deadline announced that Connor Murphy will be played by Colton Ryan, who understudied for the same role for the Broadway musical. Nik Dodani will play Hansen's friend Jared, and "The Hate U Give" star Amanda Stenberg will play social media-savvy teen Alana Beck. The role of Alana has reportedly been expanded on for the film.

Connor's grieving parents Cynthia and Larry Murphy will be portrayed by Amy Adams and "Mayans" actor Danny Pino. Julianne Moore will also tug at the audience's heartstrings as Evan's mom, Heidi.

What is the plot of Dear Evan Hansen?

With writer Steven Levenson (who wrote the book for "Dear Evan Hansen") penning the screenplay, it's expected the film will stick closely to the source material. "Dear Evan Hansen" centers around Evan, a teenager who suffers from social anxiety. When Evan's self-therapeutic letter is stolen by his classmate Connor, who later dies by suicide, Connor's parents confuse the letter as their son's final words. Desperate to feel connected to others, Evan goes along with the lie and furthers the deceit by pretending he was Connor's friend. As his story unravels, Evan faces of series of confrontations and events he must grapple with.

The musical film will feature songs from the Broadway version as well as two new songs. One of those songs will be sung by Stenberg, and all are written by original composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Platt confirmed the songs as well as an expanded third act to Vanity Fair. "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," Platt said.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.