Ever since it was announced that the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen would be turned into a feature film, the theatre community has been buzzing with questions and opinions on the cast.
Dear Evan Hansen, which follows the title character as he manages social anxiety and becomes entangled in a massive lie, has been a hit with young audiences since its Broadway premiere in 2016. In August of 2020, it was announced that actor Amandla Stenberg would play the role of Alana, and Colton Ryan would play the role of suicide-victim Connor. Stenberg is best known for their roles in The Hunger Games and Everything, Everything. Ryan had understudied the role of Connor on Broadway.
Atypical actor Nick Dodani was announced for the role of Jared, Evan’s cohort in the lie he perpetuates. At the same time, rumors were circulating that the two lead roles, Evan and Zoe, would be portrayed by Ben Platt and Kaitlyn Dever, respectively. Platt, who originated the role on Broadway and became the youngest person to win the Tony for Leading Actor in a Musical, is also the son of Marc Platt, the film’s producer. Dever is an actress who rose to prominence in 2019 with the Netflix show Unbelievable and the teen comedy film Booksmart.
It was officially confirmed that Platt and Dever would play Evan and Zoe in an announcement made in September. While some fans questioned twenty-six-year-old Platt’s ability to convincingly play a teenager and lobbied for teenage Broadway star Andrew Barth Feldman to play the role instead, the reaction was mostly positive. Platt is the only member of the original Broadway cast to reprise their role in the film.
Academy Award-winning Actress Julianne Moore is set to play the role of Heidi Hansen, Evan’s mother. Broadway performer Rachel Bay Jones won a Tony for originating the role in 2016. Six-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams was announced for the role of Cynthia Murphy, mother of Connor and Zoe. Danny Pino will play Larry Murphy, now the stepfather of Connor and Zoe, and DeMarius Copes is playing the new role of Oliver.
Principal photography is set to take place in Los Angeles and Atlanta this year. Platt said in an interview with James Corden that filming had already begun as of August 2020.