Rent Film Begins Production

Originally Published: March 15, 2005

Based on the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award Winning Musical by Jonathan Larson,

the film will be shot in New York and San Francisco with many members of the

original Broadway cast.

Filming has begun in New

York and San Francisco on Revolution Studios’ Rent, an adaptation of the

acclaimed Broadway musical of the same name, it was announced today. Directed

by Chris Columbus from a screenplay by Columbus and Stephen Chbosky, the film

will be released by Columbia Pictures on November 11th, 2005.

Rent is being produced for Revolution Studios by Robert DeNiro and Jane

Rosenthal and 1492 Pictures’ Columbus, Mark Radcliffe and Michael Barnathan.

Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and Lata Ryan are serving as

executives producers. Julie Larson, sister of the late Jonathan Larson,

serves as co-producer.

Based on Puccini’s classic opera La Boheme, Jonathan Larson’srevolutionary rock opera Rent tells the story of a group of bohemians

struggling to live and pay their rent in the gritty background of New York’s

East Village. Measuring their lives in love, these starving artists strive

for success and acceptance while enduring the obstacles of poverty, illness

and the AIDS epidemic.

One of the longest running shows on Broadway, Rent was the winner of the

1996 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Obie Award, the New York Drama Critics

Circle Award, four Tony Awards and three Drama Desk awards.

“It is one of the most influential musicals of this generation, and we

are tremendously excited to be able to bring the film adaptation to the

screen,” said Revolution Studios founder Joe Roth. “Chris Columbus is the

ideal filmmaker to deliver a faithful yet cutting-edge adaptation of Jonathan

Larson’s compelling story to existing fans of the musical and to a brand new

audience.”

“When we learned that Chris Columbus was going to be directing ‘Rent,‘ we

were thrilled beyond belief”, said Julie Larson. “Everyone involved with the

production has become part of our ever-expanding family, and we are all

delighted that this movie will be the next chapter in the continuing legacy of

Jonathan’s vision.”

The cast features many of the original Broadway performers who originated

the roles in 1996, along with several other notable actors.

Taye Diggs originated the role of Benjamin Benny Coffin III. Diggs

currently stars in and produces the television series Kevin Hill. His film

credits include Basic, Chicago, Brown Sugar and The Best Man.

Wilson Jermaine Heredia originated the role of Angel Schunard, for which

he won a Tony Award. His film credits include Flawless and Went to Coney

Island on a Mission from God…Be Back by Five.

Jesse L. Martin originated the role of Thomas B. ‘Tom’ Collins. His other

credits include his portrayal of Detective Ed Green in Law & Order and a

recurring role on Ally McBeal.

Idina Menzel originated the role of Maureen Johnson. In 2004, Menzel won

a Tony Award for her role in Wicked. Her film credits include Ask the

Dusk, The Tollbooth, Just a Kiss and Kissing Jessica Stein.

Adam Pascal originated the role of Roger Davis. His Broadway credits

include Cabaret and Aida. He also starred in the feature films School of

Rock and SLC Punk.

Anthony Rapp originated the role of Mark Cohen. His film credits include

A Beautiful Mind, Road Trip, Twister, Six Degrees of Separation, Dazed and Confused and School Ties.

Rosario Dawson will portray Mimi Marquez. She will next appear in the

film Sin City. Her credits include Alexander, Shattered Glass, 25th

Hour and Men in Black II.

Tracie Thoms will play Joanne Jefferson. Her credits include the film

Warrior Class and the televisions series Wonderfalls and As If.

Chris Columbus most recently directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s

Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He also directed Mrs.

Doubtfire, Home Alone and Stepmom.

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