Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever in talks for Dear Evan Hansen
It’s been nearly two years since we last heard word on Universal Pictures’ film adaptation of the Broadway hit Dear Evan Hansen and now Variety has brought word that the wheels are still in motion on the project as Booksmart‘s Kaitlyn Dever has entered talks to star in the film.
Dear Evan Hansen tells a story exploring themes of teen suicide and mental illness, following a high schooler who’s plagued with social anxiety, eventually making up a story to befriend the family of a classmate of his who had committed suicide. The musical won multiple Tony Awards in 2017, including Best Musical as well as Best Actor and Best Actress for stars Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones.
Dever is currently in talks to star as Zoe, the sister to the classmate, who begins dating the titular character after he enters a relationship with her family. Original star Ben Platt is reportedly set to reprise his role for the film, though sources report Universal could not confirm his casting.
Marc Platt and Adam Siegel will be producing through Marc Platt Productions while Pasek and Paul are expected to be executive producers. Steven Levenson, who authored Dear Evan Hansen, and also won a Tony for Best Book of a Musical, is set to write the script with Wonder‘s Stephen Chbosky attached to direct the project.
Pasek and Paul previously won an Oscar for Best Song for “City of Stars” from Damien Chazelle’s La La Land. They were also nominated for Best Original Song for “This is Me” from the Hugh Jackman vehicle, The Greatest Showman.
Dever originally found her rise to fame on the small screen with roles in FX’s acclaimed western crime drama Justified and Tim Allen-led sitcom Last Man Standing, though as the latter was cancelled by ABC and picked up by Fox, she transitioned into a recurring role on the series versus her original main cast role. The timing came as she found herself landing bigger roles in films including the well-received indie dramedies The Spectacular Now and Laggies before breaking out last year in the indie thriller Them That Follow and highly-acclaimed high school comedy Booksmart.