‘The Last Five Years’: How a Little Film Landed Anna Kendrick

February 13, 2015 12:59 AM

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‘The Last Five Years’: How a Little Film Landed Anna Kendrick

In 2002, a two-person musical opened at off-Broadway’s tiny Minetta Lane Theater. “The Last Five Years” told the story of a broken romance from both lovers’ points of views, and though the show, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, closed after just two months, its music struck a chord. The cast album gained a cult following with musical-theater lovers, selling 100,000 copies, and eventually a copy of the album fell into the hands of screenwriter, director and musical-theater lover Richard LaGravenese (“Water For Elephants,” “Bridges of Madison County”). His movie version of the show, starring Anna Kendrick, will be released Feb. 13 in Los Angeles and New York City and on demand. On Feb. 20, it will open in more than 20 U.S. cities, with world-wide distribution to follow.

The independent film, which features only Ms. Kendrick and Broadway vet Jeremy Jordan singing to each other, was made for less than $5 million and shot over 21 days in New York City, but it has benefited from a casting windfall. The producers signed on Ms. Kendrick in 2012, before she had become the...

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