In 2017, Dear Evan Hansen cleaned up in most of the big categories at the 71st annual Tony Awards. The musical, whose cast originally featured the incredibly talented Ben Platt in the titular role, has gone on to become one of the most successful and beloved musicals of all time. In November 2018, Universal Pictures acquired the rights to the production with the intention of turning it into a big-budget film. As first reported by Deadline, the multitalented Amandla Stenberg will join the musical’s cast as Alana Beck.
In the original Broadway production, Alana appears as a high school senior who uses social media to hide her loneliness. The role will reportedly be expanded for the film with Stenberg singing a new self-written original song composed for the film. Kristolyn Lloyd played the role in the original broadway cast. Stenberg joins previously announced stars, Ben Platt and Kaitlyn Dever.
Stenberg is one of the brightest stars in Hollywood today. Her roles in films like The Hate U Give and The Darkest Minds allow her to perform in diverse roles. The actress currently stars in Netflix’s The Eddy. Additionally, Stenberg made her singing debut as part of the musical duo Honeywater with their self-titled album in 2013.
Dear Evan Hansen tells the story of a young man with a social anxiety disorder. In order to make a connection with his peers, he fabricates a relationship with a deceased student to become closer to the boy’s family. When the classmate commits suicide, shy Evan Hansen finds himself at the center of the tragedy and turmoil. In an attempt to comfort the boy’s grieving family, Evan pretends that he was actually good friends with their son. He invents a fabricated email account to prove their friendship, and when a fake suicide note makes its way online, Evan finds himself the unintended face of a viral video about loneliness and friendship.
The musical was penned by The Greatest Showman lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul alongside Steven Levenson. The three creators will serve as executive producers with Marc Platt and Adam Siegel. Levenson will write the film’s script while Wonder director Stephen Chbosky will helm the project.
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