Rent was adapted into a movie directed by Chris Columbus with a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky. With the exception of Daphne Rubin-Vega and Fredi Walker, the original Broadway cast members reprised the principal roles. Rosario Dawson played Mimi and Tracie Thoms was cast as Joanne, as Rubin-Vega (Mimi) was pregnant at the time of filming and Walker (Joanne) felt she was too old for the part. Released on November 23, 2005, the film remained in the box office top ten for three weeks. Several plot elements were changed slightly, and some of the songs were changed to spoken dialogue in the film. The film's soundtrack was produced by Rob Cavallo, engineered by Doug McKean and features renowned session musicians, Jamie Muhoberac, Tim Pierce, and Dorian Crozier.
Differences between the stage and film versionsEdit
- "Goodbye Love" was filmed in its entirety, but the second half was cut from the film because Columbus considered it somewhat of an emotional overload, as he states on the DVD's commentary track.
- The film leaves ambiguous the death of Roger's girlfriend April, who dies before Rent begins. In the film, she is seen reading a doctor's report that she is HIV positive; it is stated that she has died, but nothing more is said. In the stage version, Mark explicitly states that April committed suicide by slitting her wrists in the bathroom, and Roger found out about his HIV in the suicide note. Chris Columbus states in the DVD commentary that a scene featuring April lying in the bathtub with her wrists slit was filmed, but cut because he thought it would be "too much."
- many songs were taken out and some changed to dialogue. The song order also changes. Seasons of Love, instead of being the opening song for Act II, is the opening song for the movie. Also You'll See is sung much earlier on ( and unlike the stage version, without Angel and Collins).