Dear Evan Hansen movie release date, soundtrack, cast and all about the musical’s move to cinema screens

Ben Platt as Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

The Dear Evan Hansen movie brings the award-winning stage musical by Pasek and Paul to the big screen with a fantastic cast and some inspired changes that may well make it the definitive version.

With the rafter-raising The Greatest Showman in their songwriting CV, can Pasek and Paul do it again with this modern tale of social anxiety and the fallout from a huge misunderstanding?

Dear Evan Hansen release date: 22 October 2021

Dear Evan Hansen movie backstory. What is Dear Evan Hansen?

Dear Evan Hansen is a coming-of-age musical originally written for the stage by the songwriting duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. If those names sound familiar, they ought to; as Pasek and Paul, their lyrics (and Justin Hurwitz’s music) won them the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Original Song for La La Land’s (2017) City of Stars.

Pasek and Paul immediately went on to prove they were anything but a fluke by writing the songs – you know them – for the ridiculously entertaining The Greatest Showman (2017). Aside from becoming one of the most beloved film musicals in the pantheon, This Is Me deservedly won Pasek and Paul another Golden Globe for Best Original Song.

What did Pasek and Paul do next?

Well, just as Lin-Manuel’s awesome In the Heights was written before he hit it big with Hamilton, so Dear Evan Hansen preceded The Greatest Showman, debuting in 2015 and hitting Broadway in 2016. Six Tony Awards later and it was only a matter of time before Dear Evan Hansen made it to the big screen.

So, what is Dear Evan Hansen? If you’re expecting a bombastic period musical like The Greatest Showman, or a retro-cool hymn to classic Hollywood musicals like La La Land, you’re in for a surprise. More intimate and contemporary than those previous hits, Dear Evan Hansen is nevertheless blessed with Pasek and Paul’s uncanny knack for creating crowd-pleasing musical earworms.

Dear Evan Hansen trailer and plot. What is the Dear Evan Hansen movie about?

High school student Evan Hansen battles with Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Evan’s father left his mum Heidi and him when he was little and Mrs Hansen is the first to admit her early post-divorce struggles have left her clueless about how to connect with her now teenage son.

A therapist has an idea: for Evan to write letters to himself in an attempt to bolster his self-esteem. He dutifully does this but then things take a turn.

When another outsider at high school, Connor Murphy ends up with a printout of one of Evan’s therapy letters and later commits suicide, Connor’s grief-stricken family misinterpret it as a sign that their lonely, isolated son not only had a friend but a close one he supported through tough times.

Seeing how this misunderstanding gives the Murphys comfort as they try to understand Connor’s death, Evan makes a fateful decision that will take on a life of its own – he says that Connor was indeed his friend and sets about creating a friendship that never happened, that will bring him close to the Murphys and take him further from his loving but lost mum.

Watch the Dear Evan Hanse movie trailer right here and be prepared to be drawn into a rich tale of good intentions gone awry and finding your place in a world that doesn’t come with an instruction manual. 

Ben Platt as Evan Hansen in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Dear Evan Hansen cast and characters. Who’s who in Dear Evan Hansen?

Ben Platt
(Pitch Perfect) is Evan Hansen


We would say Ben Platt’s performance as the socially anxious Evan Hansen is a revelation.

But he crushed it in the title role on Broadway first, so we could not be happier that he’s bringing his vulnerability and voice to Evan on the big screen.

(from left) Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) and Heidi Hansen (Julianne Moore) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Julianne Moore
(Still Alice) is Heidi Hansen


It breaks Heidi Hansen’s heart to see her son suffering from anxiety so acutely.

She’d move heaven and earth for him if only she knew how to reach him.

(from left) Connor Murphy (Colton Ryan) and Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Colton Ryan
(Uncle Frank) is Connor Murphy


We would say Ben Platt’s performance as the socially anxious Evan Hansen is a revelation.

But he crushed it in the title role on Broadway first, so we could not be happier that he’s bringing his vulnerability and voice to Evan on the big screen.

(from left) Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) and Zoe Murphy (Kaitlyn Dever) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Kaitlyn Dever
(Booksmart) is Zoe Murphy


Zoe attends the same high school as her brother Connor.

Showing kindness to Evan, Zoe begins a friendship with him in the turbulent wake of Connor’s death.

(From left) Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) and Alana Beck (Amandla Stenberg) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Amandla Stenberg
(The Hate You Give) is Alana Beck


Inquisitive and proactive, Alana becomes an ally of Evan’s in his attempt to honour Connor’s memory. However, her faith in Evan is not blind, and she suspects something about his and Connor’s friendship doesn’t ring true.

(from left) Evan Hansen (Ben Platt) and Jared Kalwani (Nik Dodani) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Nik Dodani
(Escape Room) is Jared Kalwani


Jared is Evan’s only real friend from before high school. His well-meaning attempts to help out his anxious mate don’t always make things better for Evan.

(from left) Cynthia Murphy (Amy Adams) and Larry Mora (Danny Pino) in Dear Evan Hansen, directed by Stephen Chbosky.

© 2021 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

Amy Adams
(Arrival) is Cynthia Murphy


Jared is Evan’s only real friend from before high school. His well-meaning attempts to help out his anxious mate don’t always make things better for Evan.

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How does the Dear Evan Hansen movie differ from the stage musical (and how does it stay the same)?

Right down to the casting of its main star, the Dear Evan Hansen movie is a reassuringly faithful adaptation of the stage musical, but there are a handful of differences.

• With cinema’s ability to tell stories visually more easily than stage musicals can, the Dear Evan Hansen movie loses four of the original songs – Anybody Have a Map, Disappear, To Break in a Glove and Good For You.

• That being said, the Dear Evan Hansen movie gets two brand new songs – The Anonymous Ones (sung by the character Alana Beck and co-written by actress Amandla Stenberg and Pasek & Paul) – and A Little Closer, sung by Ryan O’Connor.

• Without saying too much, the movie’s resolution is longer than the musical’s, leading to a more emotionally satisfying conclusion. Trust us – it’s a change for the better that pays off beautifully.

• And here’s a fantastic bit of continuity between the show and the film – in order to retain the authenticity and energy of the stage musical, director Stephen Chbosky (Wonder) ensured nearly all of the vocal performances in the Dear Evan Hansen movie were recorded live on set!

The Dear Evan Hansen movie is released 22 October 2021. Ready to feel all the feels in the cinema with us?

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