RENT is the film adaptation of RENT. It was directed by Chris Columbus with a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky based on Jonathan Larson's original. 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 from the Original[]

  • "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 Ericson, 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."
  • Certain 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). 
  • Contact is completely cut from the film, as is Christmas Bells.

Alternate ending[]

In addition to four deleted scenes, the DVD release includes an alternate ending, showing all the main characters except Angel standing in the positions where they were during the "Seasons of Love" opening, all standing in a line of spotlights, with Angel's spot empty. Later in the scene, she enters from the side and walks down the line to take her place, stopping as she passes Collins to take his hand for a moment. Although this tableau is used in the finale of the musical, it was dropped from the film for fear that audiences may have wondered why Angel had returned or why the characters were lined up on stage again. In the commentary, Chris Columbus adds that he "didn't want audiences to think that everything was okay and Angel was alive again."

DVD cover



Alternate Ending - Rent Movie (deleted scene)

RENTRENT: Filmed Live on BroadwayRENT (Off-Broadway)RENT (Hollywood Bowl)RENT (2005)RENT Live