‘The Last 5 Years’ Could Be Anna Kendrick’s Next Hit Musical
Anna Kendrick will be showing off her vocal skills on the big screen once again. The actress’s latest musical film, The Last Five Years, has just been picked up by the Weinstein Company’s boutique label, Radius, with a slated release date of Valentine’s Day 2015.
Directed by Richard LaGravenese, the film is based on Tony winner Jason Robert Brown’s off-Broadway musical that debuted in 2002 and has since become a cult favorite. The long-awaited adaptation follows the story of a married couple, struggling actress Cathy (Kendrick) and novelist Jamie (Jeremy Jordan). The plot takes the place over the course of five years and is told almost entirely through song. It also boasts a unique format. Cathy’s storyline moves backwards from the end of their marriage back to the beginning while Jamie’s moves in normal chronological order, following the crumbling of their relationship. Their stories intersect at only one point in the middle, when Jamie first proposes.
The movie, produced by LaGravanese, Lauren Versel, Kurt Deutsch, and Janet Brenner, has been finished for months and was reportedly being screened to buyers early this year. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Radius scooped up the rights to the film in one of the first major acquisitions of this year’s Toronto Film Festival
It seems like a wise move, given the musical’s large and dedicated fanbase and the movie’s more than promising cast. Jordan appeared in NBC’s musical drama series Smash and is also a Broadway favorite, having held parts in Bonnie & Clyde in 2011 and Newsies in 2012.
Meanwhile, Kendrick is no stranger to the musical scene. The previously Tony Award-nominated actress garnered a lot of attention after her part in the 2012 a cappella comedy Pitch Perfect, which was both a commercial and critical success. Her version of “Cups” in that movie also earned her a top ten song on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. In addition to The Last Five Years, Kendrick is appearing in another hotly anticipated adaptation of Broadway’s Into the Woods later this year and is also set to reprise her role in Pitch Perfect 2, out in May 2015.
So will her star power be able to make The Last Five Years as much of a hit as her previous forays into music? It’s unclear exactly how big of a push Radius is planning to give the movie, but it certainly holds potential. Into the Woods and Pitch Perfect are both big box items, significantly more so than the The Last Five Years. Still, Kendrick alone has the ability to draw a decent audience. Of course, the real point of interest for many viewers will be seeing a long beloved musical finally hit the big screen. As has already been evidenced in the case of Into the Woods, longtime fans of The Last Five Years are sure to have strong opinions on the adaptation, no matter how true it stays to the original.
Luckily for them, it seems the movie version will be sticking pretty closely to the play they know and love. Kendrick previously confirmed to Entertainment Weekly that the movie preserves the play’s unusual structure and in a fun added twist, also features a cameo from one of its original stars, Sherie Rene Scott.
Another potential advantage the movie has going for it? In the event that the story and cast aren’t enough to pique some viewers’ interest, the strategic release date might be. The flick seems like it’ll make a prime date night option this upcoming Valentine’s Day, at the very least.