12:37pm PT by Rick Porter
'Love, Simon' Disney+ Series Casts Its Lead Actor
Love, Simon, the Disney+ series based on the beloved 2018 movie, has found its lead actor.
Up-and-coming actor Michael Cimino (Annabelle Comes Home) will lead the ensemble as Victor, a new student at Creekwood High School. Ana Ortiz (Whiskey Cavalier, Ugly Betty) will also star as Victor's mother, and Nick Robinson — who played the title role in the film — has signed on as a producer and will narrate the show.
The series is set to go into production later this month but doesn't yet have a premiere date; Disney+ is due to launch in November.
"Love, Simon is a powerful story embraced by critics and audiences alike for its universal messages of authenticity, love, and acceptance,” Agnes Chu, senior vp content at Disney+, said Thursday in a statement. "We are honored to partner with the talented team at 20th Century Fox Television to bring this new chapter of a beloved story to Disney+, continuing the personal and uplifting narrative that captivated fans of the original film."
The series, which is set in the world of the movie, follows Victor on his own journey of discovery as he's facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city and struggling with his sexuality. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate high school.
In addition to Cimino and Ortiz, the cast includes James Martinez as Victor's dad, Armando; Isabella Ferreira as Victor's younger sister, Pilar; Mateo Fernandez as Adrian, the youngest sibling in the family; Johnny Sequoyah as Victor's friend Mia; Bebe Wood as classmate Lake; George Sear as Benji, a confident and charming classmate; Anthony Turpel as Victor's new neighbor Felix; and Mason Gooding as Creekwood basketball star Andrew.
Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger (This Is Us), who wrote the Greg Berlanti-directed film, will serve as showrunners on the series. Brian Tanen, Jason Ensler, Isaac Klausner, Marty Bowen, Adam Fishbach, Wyck Godfrey and Pouya Shahbazian are also executive producers. Amy York Rubin (Casual) directs the first episode, with her creative partner Pilar Boehm co-exec producing. Adam Londy is also a co-EP. Berlanti is not involved in the show due to his exclusive deal at Warner Bros. TV.
"We could not be more excited to be making Love, Simon for Disney+,” said Aptaker and Berger. “Writing Love, Simon was one of the most profound and enjoyable experiences of our careers to date and we are beyond thrilled that we get to revisit this world and tell the story of Victor, a brand-new Creekwood student, and his family and friends. We have a phenomenal group of writers with tremendously personal connections to the material crafting our episodes, and have assembled a dream team cast and crew to bring these stories to life, and cannot wait to share what we're working on with the world."
Love, Simon, released by the now-shuttered Fox 2000, broke ground as the first teen-targeted, major studio project centering on a gay romance. The film made $66.3 million worldwide on a $17 million budget with a cast featuring Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel. Disney's 20th Century Fox TV, where Aptaker and Berger have an overall deal, is producing the series.
Cimino is repped by Megan Silverman Management, AEFH Talent and attorney Chris Abramson.