Lucky Monkey Pictures and Sh-K-Boom Records announced today Academy Award-and Tony Award nominated actress Anna Kendrick and Tony Award and Grammy Award nominated Jeremy Jordan (Smash, Joyful Noise) will star in the film adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's acclaimed musical The Last 5 Years to be written and directed by Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese. Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, Richard LaGravenese and Janet Brenner will produce. Steve Norman will Co Produce. Steven Meizler, who has worked extensively with Steven Spielberg, David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh, is the Director of Photography. The film begins shooting this week in New York City. CAA will handle domestic sales, with Brian O'Shea and Nat McCormick handling international sales for The Exchange.
The Last 5 Years is a musical love story for a new generation. Told through emotionally powerful and comic songs from their individual perspectives, The Last 5 Years is a deconstruction of the love affair and marriage of Cathy Hiatt, a struggling actress, and Jamie Wellerstein, a rising novelist, The story chronicles the five-year life of a marriage, from meeting to break-up...or from break-up to meeting, depending on how you look at it.
Recognized for her work on screen and stage, Anna Kendrick was nominated for an Oscar in her breakout role in Up in the Air. Recently she starred in the hit movie musical Pitch Perfect from which her single "Cups" is certified platinum and is a Top 30 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. For her role as "Dinah" in "High Society" on Broadway, Anna Kendrick was nominated for a Tony Award (second youngest ever), a Drama Desk Award, and a Fany Award (best actress featured in a musical). Her spectacular performance landed her the Drama League and Theatre World Award. Kendrick is represented by CAA.
Jeremy Jordan is an established star on Broadway, where in the past three years he's starred as 'Tony' in West Side Story, originated the role of "Clyde" in "Bonnie & Clyde" and was nominated for a Tony, Grammy and Drama Desk award for his work as 'Jack Kelly' in the hit, "Newsies." He starred this past season in the Steven Spielberg-produced NBC/DreamWorks series, Smash. Film credits include the male lead in last year's Joyful Noise for Warner Bros. Jordan is represented by ICM Partners and Schachter Entertainment.
Acclaimed writer / director Richard LaGravenese most recently wrote the HBO smash Behind the Candelabra and was nominated for an Oscar for The Fisher King. Other writing and directing credits include P.S. I Love You, Beautiful Creatures, The Bridges of Madison County, and Water for Elephants.
Director/Producer Richard LaGravenese had this to say in a statement.
"It's been over eight years since my friend Todd Graff gave me the CD of The Last 5 Years. I'm an avid musical theater fan but I never saw the original production. The score is a gold mine of character and insights on relationships. Listening to it, I could only imagine it as a movie. For fans, it will be the same musical they know and love, except for minor musical changes made by Jason Robert Brown who I've worked closely with over these eight years. The only major difference is, in the movie, the characters "Cathy" and "Jamie" will be singing to each other in songs that were sung directly to the audience on stage. The depth and richness of Jason's beautiful score will reveal something new to fans. Having Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan as "Cathy" and "Jamie" is one of those blessings of casting that a director can only attribute to pure luck. I've been obsessed with The Last 5 Years since I first heard it. And I'm very excited to bring it to the screen with Anna, Jeremy, and Cinematographer Steven Meizler."
Producer Lauren Versel added her own statement.
"It's a privilege to be working with Richard LaGravenese, Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan on this extraordinary film musical. It's a completely original love story told through a remarkable score by Jason Robert Brown. There has never been anything like this before."
Producer Kurt Deutsch also spoke about the musical.
"Jason Robert Brown's musical The Last 5 Years was the first cast album that our record label, Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records released in 2002. Since then the show has had thousands of productions around the world and the album has been one of our most consistent and top selling recordings. Five years ago my wife, Sherie Rene Scott, who starred as Cathy in the original production met Richard LaGravenese at an audition for P.S. I Love You and Richard explained to Sherie that he was obsessed with the album and thought that it should be a film and that he had every shot in his head. It was at that point that my wife said, 'You really need to call my husband because he felt the same way.' Richard and I met for breakfast the next day and began a five-year partnership to make our dream a reality. We have assembled an incredible team of actors, musicians, artists, and producers and are thrilled to begin production."
Producer Janet Brenner added her own statement.
"At the opening night of the off Broadway production of The Last 5 Years I fell in love with the show. It is thrilling to experience this gorgeous score by Jason Robert Brown come alive on film under the direction of Richard LaGravenese, and with the brilliant singing and acting of Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. This is a musical film where the songs take us on a deeply moving and unique telling of a love story."
Jason Robert Brown is a multi-award winning composer and lyricist. His four major musicals include: 13, a musical written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish; "The Last 5 Years," (cited as one of Time Magazine's 10 Best, Drama Desk Awards); "Parade," a musical written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, (Tony Award, Drama Desk, New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards); and "Songs For A New World." "Honeymoon in Vegas," a musical adaptation of the 1992 film, and "The Bridges of Madison County," a musical adapted from the bestselling novel, will both premiere in the 2013 Broadway season.
Casting for The Last 5 Years is by Telsey + Company. Choreography for the film is by Michele Lynch.