I have often lamented that even though musicals were finally getting adapted for the big screen in higher volumes, great original stage musicals were being ignored in favor of jukebox musicals like Rock of Ages or Jersey Boys. Perhaps my cries of complaint have been heard as MovieHole (via The Film Experience) reports that a film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years is currently in the works with Anna Kendrick tapped to star as one of the film’s two leads.
The Last Five Years depicts the rise and fall of a relationship between a rising novelist and an aspiring actress. The narrative is cleverly structured with the male character advancing forward in the relationship chronologically, starting the show with their first meeting, and the other character moving in reverse, starting the show with their divorce. The characters only appear together in one wedding scene, which takes place in the middle of both characters’ stories.
Kendrick would play Cathy, the female lead, with her male counterpart to be announced. The film will be directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You) who will also adapt the screenplay. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced, although any additional parts will likely be very minor and are not featured in any of the songs.
Kendrick recently proved to the movie-going masses that she can hold a note with her performance in the much-praised Pitch Perfect. However, I have appreciated Kendrick’s voice since she belted out “The Ladies Who Lunch” in the high school musical comedy Camp:
Now the only challenge will be finding a male counterpart who can match her intensity. I have never had the privilege to see The Last Five Years on stage, but I am quite familiar with the soundtrack and the surrounding story. Whoever gets cast as Jamie must have a charm that will endear him to the audience, despite his numerous extramarital affairs. Joseph Gordon-Levitt immediately comes to mind, but I am not sure his voice is strong enough for the many belted notes the performance would require. Do you have any actors in mind for the role?
Below is a badly shot glimpse of Sherie Rene Scott in the original production of The Last Five Years. I highly recommend checking out the full soundtrack for those who are unfamiliar.