Exclusive : Anna Kendrick to star in musical The Last 5 Years

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The film mightn’t have set the box office aflame like many predicted it would (based on those early word-of-mouth screenings that the distributor participated in; though “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” used the same playbook, and also tanked upon release) but Uni’s “Pitch Perfect” ostensibly proved Anna Kendrick – the “Twilight” castie who went on to snag an Oscar Nomination for her part as George Clooney’s young, impressionable but ultimately threatening competition in “Up in the Air” – could hold her own in a feature that’s music-heavy. As such, the versatile young thesp has snagged the lead role in another lyrical-friendly feature, “The Last Five Years” – this one, however, is an out-and-out musical.

The Richard LaGravenese (“P.S, I Love You”) adapted and directed “Last Five Years”, one of the many intriguing projects being stumped at next week’s AFM, is based on Jason Robert Brown’s acclaimed Chicago-born play of the same name, that fixes on the ups and downs of a relationship. The show, inspired by the playwright’s own personal life, used a form of storytelling in which the young woman’s story is told in reverse chronological order (beginning the show at the end of the marriage), and the male’s is told in chronological order (starting just after the couple have first met). The characters did not directly interact except for a wedding song in the middle as their timelines intersect.It was all quite genius.

Kendrick will star Kendrick as Cathy, a struggling young actress, and an yet-to-be cast actor as her novelist husband Jamie. The film chronicles the duo’s relationship – the meet, the break-up, the make-up, the nuptials… all through comedic songs sung by the actors.

Kendrick will sing such tunes as “Still Hurting”, “See I’m Smiling” and “I Can Do Better Than That” in the pic.

“Last Five Years”, housed with The Exchange (Denzel Washington/Mark Wahlberg starrer “Two Guns”), will be pimped in Santa Monica at the end of the month.