Kaitlyn Dever, once best known for playing one of the kids on sitcom Last Man Standing (a show just renewed for its ninth – yes, ninth – season), has now broken out into a burgeoning movie star. Having played impressive supporting roles in films such as The Spectacular Now, Detroit and Beautiful Boy, last year’s Booksmart truly marked the shift from TV to film.
Thus its little surprise that the big roles are coming thick and fast. Dever is reportedly in talks to play the lead female role in the film adaptation of stage musical Dear Evan Hansen in the works at Universal. Ben Platt is expected to reprise his stage role as the title character, though it hasn’t been confirmed by the studio.
The story follows high school student Evan Hansen, who gets caught in a lie when one of his letters is mistaken for a classmate’s suicide note. That leads Evan to begin a relationship with his classmate’s family, including the boy’s sister, Zoe, who he begins dating.
In a great choice, Stephen Chbosky, who wrote The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and then made the surprising, but ultimately excellent, move to direct the feature adaptation himself, is helming the film. Steve Levenson, who wrote the book for the stage show, is also writing the screenplay. La La Land duo Benj Pasek and Justin Paul have written the music and lyrics for the film.
The stage musical has become a huge hit, winning five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, at the 71st Tony Awards. Of all the stage adaptations in development right now thanks to the success of musicals like the aforementioned La La Land and The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hansen feels like the surest bet to fit its new medium the best.
Dever should be a great fit here. Not only because she’s incredibly talented, but she’s also a proven singer as she and her sister have their own band, Beulahbelle. She’s coming off the acclaimed Netflix miniseries Unbelievable, and should be one of the shining stars of the next decade. Lead roles in films like Dear Evan Hansen should help that process along pretty quickly.