Fox just announced the cast for its live television adaptation of Rent, Jonathan Larson’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that appears to have plagiarized a bunch of its content from Sarah Schulman’s 1990 novel People in Trouble.
Tinashe’s playing Mimi, says The Hollywood Reporter, and Drag Race alum Valentina is Angel. Vanessa Hudgens will take on the role of Maureen, the East Village performance artist whose character and plot share a number of similarities with Kate, one of the characters from Schulman’s People in Trouble who also happens to be caught in a bisexual love triangle and aaaaaaalso happens to stage a performance in protest of a landlord trying to evict tenants living with HIV and AIDS. Rounding out the cast are Kiersey Clemons and Jordan Fisher as Joanne and Mark, respectively—characters, Schulman argues, were based on People in Trouble’s Molly and Peter.
Schulman details her ultimately futile efforts to pursue legal action against the estate of Jonathan Larson—who, contrary to popular imagination, wasn’t gay, never lived in the East Village, and didn’t die of an AIDS-related illness—in Stagestruck: Theater, AIDS, and the Marketing of Gay America, a book I can’t recommend highly enough! Rent: Live! airs January 27 on Fox.