Theatre News

West Side Story star Isaac Powell joins Dear Evan Hansen film

The film is progressing swiftly with filming ongoing in Atlanta

Isaac Powell
Isaac Powell
© David Gordon

The cast of the upcoming Dear Evan Hansen film just keeps getting bigger!

Going above the usual eight cast members that appear in the stage show, the big-screen version of the award-winning musical has been adding a plethora of stage and movie stars lately.

The most recent of these is Isaac Powell who, before lockdown began, was playing the lead role of Tony in Ivo van Hove's edgy revival of West Side Story on Broadway. Before that, Powell also played Daniel in the Broadway revival of Once on this Island (an interesting link – the West End Evan Hansen Sam Tutty took on the role in a British Theatre Academy production just before he netted Evan in 2019).

Powell is set to play a high school jock named Rhys in the upcoming film, which is said to be in production right now in Atlanta Georgia. He joins the likes of DeMarius Copes, Gerald Caesar, Tommy Kane, Avery Bederman and Liz Kate in taking on high school roles that weren't present on stage.

The core cast includes original Tony-winning star Ben Platt in the title role, as well as Amy Adams as Cynthia, Julianne Moore as Heidi, Kaitlyn Dever as Zoe Murphy, Danny Pino as Zoe's stepfather, Amandla Stenberg as Alana, Nik Dodani as Jared, and Colton Ryan as Connor.

Steven Levenson pens the script from his original stage version, with Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) directing. Music and lyrics are by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Platt's father, producer Marc Platt, and Adam Siegel will produce through Marc Platt Productions. Pasek and Paul are executive-producing.

With a Tony-winning score by Pasek and Paul, and a Tony-winning book by Levenson, Dear Evan Hansen is described as follows: "A letter that was never meant to be seen, a lie that was never meant to be told, a life he never dreamed he could have. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he's always wanted: a chance to finally fit in."

A release date is to be confirmed.

WhatsOnStage said of this five-star show when it opened in the West End last year: "Dear Evan Hansen is a desperately powerful exploration of a troubled teen sacrificing the truth for a sense of comfort – startlingly relevant for a world swaddled in screens and fleeting fictions."

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