"Access Hollywood" Spotlights "Rent" Film May 19

News   "Access Hollywood" Spotlights "Rent" Film May 19 The May 19 broadcast of TV's "Access Hollywood" will spotlight the upcoming film of Jonathan Larson's "Rent."

Co-host Billy Bush will visit the set of the film, which is scheduled to be released in November. Bush will chat with director Chris Columbus about his vision for the movie, and viewers will also learn which pop stars were almost cast in the roles that mostly went to the stars of the original Broadway musical.

"Access Hollywood" airs in the metropolitan area on WNBC-TV Channel 4 from 7:30-8 PM ET; check local listings.

Filming for the motion picture has already begun in New York and San Francisco featuring many of the stars of the original Broadway cast. Those reprising their roles for the film, which features a screenplay by director Columbus and Stephen Chbosky, include Taye Diggs (as Benjamin "Benny" Coffin III), Wilson Jermaine Heredia (as Angel Schunard), Jesse L. Martin (as Thomas B. "Thom" Collins), Idina Menzel (as Maureen Johnson), Adam Pascal (as Roger Davis) and Anthony Rapp (as Mark Cohen). Newcomers include Rosario Dawson as Mimi with Tracie Thoms as Joanne Jefferson.

The "Rent" film is being produced for Revolution Studios by Robert DeNiro and Jane Rosenthal and 1492 Pictures' Columbus, Mark Radcliffe and Michael Barnathan. Executive producers include Jeffrey Seller, Kevin McCollum, Allan S. Gordon and Lata Ryan, who produced the Broadway mounting. Julie Larson, the sister of the late Rent composer, is co producer of the film.

Rent updates Puccini's La Boheme to the East Village of the late 1990's, with artists and lovers struggling to connect in a world that is chaotic, shallow and tinged with disease. The late Jonathan Larson wrote Rent's book, music and lyrics. The 1996 Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning musical continues at the Nederlander Theatre in New York City.

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