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Greg Berlanti’s beloved Fox 2000 feature Love, Simon is getting the TV series treatment.
Disney+, the forthcoming direct-to-consumer streaming platform, has handed out a straight-to-series order for a series based on author Becky Albertalli’s Leah on the Offbeat, her sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, on which Love, Simon was based. The project hails from now Disney-owned 20th Century Fox Television, whose since shuttered sibling film studio Fox 2000 produced and distributed the 2018 movie.
Screenwriters Elizabeth Berger and Isaac Aptaker will return to serve as showrunners on the Disney+ series, which will feature a new cast. Berlanti — who directed the former Fox 2000 pic that was the first feature with a gay lead — will not return in any capacity on the series. The prolific producer, who has a record number of scripted series currently on the air, is precluded from being involved with the new Love, Simon series due to his exclusive overall deal with Warner Bros. Television.
Disney+ declined comment.
The Disney+ series gives Berger and Aptaker two shows, as the writing partners also serve as co-showrunners alongside creator Dan Fogelman on the NBC hit This Is Us.
The decision to revisit Love, Simon comes after Disney acquired rights to the property in its $71.3 billion Fox asset buy. Disney had planned to keep Fox 2000 — the Elizabeth Gabler-run studio focused on female-focused mid-budget films — in the fold, but shockingly shuttered the shingle behind such features as Walk the Line, The Devil Wears Prada, Hidden Figures, The Hate U Give and Love, Simon. With Disney doubling the number of films it produces, there apparently was no room for Fox 2000. It’s unclear what will happen to Gabler and her team.
Love, Simon was a taboo-breaking feature. It was the first teen-targeted, major studio project centering on a gay romance. The film about a closeted high school student named Simon (Nick Robinson) and his coming out bowed March 16, 2018, and grossed $66.3 million worldwide on a budget of $17 million. 13 Reasons Why breakout Katherine Langford starred as Leah, Simon’s best friend. Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel played Simon’s parents; Keiynan Lonsdale, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr. played Simon’s friends.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was the debut book for author Albertalli. She followed up the 2015 release with the 2018 sequel Leah on the Offbeat, which focused on Leah as she handles subjects including friendships, relationships, body image, sexuality, self-esteem, college and feeling like an outsider.
The Love, Simon TV sequel joins a rapidly growing roster of scripted originals for the forthcoming Disney+ streaming service, including multiple Marvel and Star Wars live-action dramas; the dramedy High Fidelity starring Zoe Kravitz; a new take on High School Musical; the Disney-themed entry Book of Enchantment; and Diary of a Female President.
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