With the continued rise of live actions remakes and recasting of cult productions (let’s remember NBC’s The Wiz Live! and the forthcoming gems, Lady and the Tramp and The Lion King), there are more opportunities for our favorite artists to tap into or reignite their inner thespians. Now, 20th Century Fox TV is up next with a live musical for Jonathan Larson’s Rent, and has called on a diverse crop of talent to bring the vision to life.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vanessa Hudgens will play the role of outgoing performance artist Maureen Johnson and Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Hearts Beat Loud) will play her lawyer girlfriend, Joanne Jefferson. Singers Tinashe and Mario have made the cut as Mimi Marquez, an exotic dancer struggling with addiction, and Benjamin Coffin III, the “sellout” landlord.
Valentina (RuPaul’s Drag Race), Brandon Victor Dixon (Jesus Christ Superstar Live), Jordan Fisher (Grease Live), Brennin Hunt (Walking With Herb), will also play Angel Dumont Schunard, Tom Collins, narrator and central character Mark Hunter, and Roger Davis, respectively. And for those itching to know who will deliver Rent’s signature song, “Seasons of Love,” it will be performed by Keala Settle (The Greatest Showman).
Larson’s estate is teaming up with Fox to executive produce alongside Marc Platt (La La Land, Wicked), Adam Siegel, Julie Larson, Allan Larson and Revolution Studios’ Vince Totino, Scott Hemming and Marla Levine. Additionally, creative team members from the original Broadway production of Rent have reportedly also joined the Fox live event.
The promising production is set to air on Jan. 27, 2019. A round of applause for all parties involved.