2005_06_artsRentNYSF.jpgMoviefone finally has the Rent trailer featuring “Seasons of Love” and so far, the film seems to successfully conceal San Francisco. As Gothamist previously reported, Director Chris Columbus opted to film the majority of the East Village musical in San Francisco and the exterior shots in New York (a pity Revolution Studios, of Gigli fame, didn’t wait for the opening of Brooklyn's new $118 million Steiner Studios). Anthony Rapp, who plays Mark Cohen, wrote that despite New York’s strict filming rules, Rent's crew did a “great job” disguising the city:

Chris and our production designer Howard and our cinematographer Stephen have all dedicated themselves to defying anyone to recognize that the entire film wasn't shot in NYC. We shall see, but from everything I've seen so far, I think they've done a great job. At any rate, the bottom line is that the East Village has changed so much from when Rent takes place that even when we did shoot there, Howard had to make adjustments to the buildings to make them look authentic to the time of the film.

"Dedicated to defying anyone?" Sounds like a challenge! Mark your calendars: November 11th, the day we watch Rent to look for clues the film was shot in the Golden Gate City. Maybe we’ll even sponsor an “I Spy” contest.

As for the R-rated film’s progress, it seems many of the Broadway musical’s fans are quite upset over the adaptation’s latest news. Rumor has it the script left out key songs, including “One Song Glory," in favor of more dialogue because Columbus claims he "couldn’t do it as a straightforward opera." In addition, Columbus (who brought us such classics as Adventures in Babysitting and The Goonies) added a new plot line – gay marriage:

“It speaks about having tolerance for all kinds of people and it talks about the fact that two gay people can be in love and deserve to be married. It’s one thing we deal with in the movie that wasn’t in the play, the concept of gay marriage… I could be shooting myself in the foot in terms of box office, I don’t care…”

This StageSpace diary makes an interesting point that Rent is not a 2004 era piece; it depicts life in the mid-90’s, when gay marriage wasn't as big an issue and didn’t gain much notice till the late 90’s, 2000. However, Columbus promises fans he understands the musical’s material and that we certainly “don’t have to worry about grit” because he knows the streets: he lived in a loft with mice (which somehow inspired Gremlins). Gothamist remains optimistic that maybe the film won’t suck, but the more we read about Columbus and Revolution Studios, the more we think we should just visit TKTS or just rent Team America for "Lease."

You can find out more about Rent by visiting the Rent blog, which features video entries from cast and crew members.