In news that surprised the hell out of me, mostly because I didn’t know such a thing existed, Lin Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut on Netflix has added three to the cast, including Emmy award-winning actor Bradley Whitford.
The movie is called Tick, Tick…Boom! and is a musical based on Rent! creator and writer Jonathan Larson’s life. Rounding out the cast is three-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry and Judith Light.
Henry will play a character named Roger. Light will play Rosa Stevens and Whitford will, presumably, be playing Broadway king-pin and composer extraordinaire Stephen Sondheim. Cue the high pitched screaming from this theater girl, especially in the face of possibly hearing Whitford sing once again. Whitford, most recently seen in Perfect Harmony, currently streaming on the NBC app and Hulu, picked up the microphone in the PH season finale and, to be frank, there wasn’t enough of him and now I need more. Hopefully, this will be more.
Tick, Tick…Boom! tells the story of Jon, a waiter in New York who dreams of becoming a composer for the stage but feels pressure from his girlfriend Susan who’s not so patiently waiting for him to achieve that dream. After his best friend and roommate, Michael, abandons his own dreams and creative aspirations, Jon feels the pressure to succeed and wonders if his own dream to compose the “next great American musical” is even possible.
Jon, obviously a stand-in for Larson, will be portrayed by Andrew Garfield. Also in the cast are Vanessa Hudgens (Rent! Live), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Dark Phoenix), and Robin de Jesus. Shipp will be filling the role of Jon’s girlfriend Susan.
Larson died of an aortic dissection the night before Rent! opened off-broadway. When it transferred to the Broadway stage, it was nominated for ten Tony awards. Larson posthumously won three of those awards and Rent! enjoyed a dozen year run to become the 11th longest-running show in Broadway history. Larson also won a Pulitzer Prize for Rent. Miranda also has a Pulitzer which he won for Hamilton. Miranda and Larson are two of only nine creators of stage musicals who have won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
Steven Levenson, of Dear Evan Hansen fame, is adapting the screenplay. Miranda is also producing, along with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, and Julie Oh. Larson’s sister Julie is also on board and will serve as executive producer. Ryan Heffington will serve as choreographer. Heffington is most famous for choreographing Sia’s music video for her hit song “Chandelier.”