by Tierney Bricker | Wed., Nov. 28, 2018 10:46 AM
Break out the celebratory Korean yogurt smoothies!
The Internet had a little party on Tuesday when it was reported that a To All the Boys I've Loved Before sequel is in the works at Netflix following its breakout success this summer.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, a follow-up movie reuniting Lana Condor and Noah Centineo is just "one of the first movies being discussed" as part of Paramount Pictures and Netflix's newly minted multi-picture deal.
A To All the Boys I've Loved Before sequel makes a lot of sense for the streaming giant, given that it has become one of their most-streamed original movies ever.
Back in October, Netflix, which has never disclosed ratings info, released its Q3 earnings report, and in it, they highlighted TALBILB as one of "most viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing."
And while we don't know the exact number of viewers who watched (and then re-watched) the charming rom-com based on Jenny Han's best-selling young adult novel of the same name, all one has to do is look at the insane social media rise of its to leads, Centineo and Candor, to get an idea of just how wildly popular the movie was.
Condor, who plays the movie's lead character Lara Jean Covey (Such a great heroine name, no?), had about 100,000 followers on Instagram before the movie's Aug. 17 premiere. She now has just under 6 million.
Just before the movie was released, Centineo had just under 1 million Instagram followers. Now, after becoming the Internet's official boyfriend thanks to his turn as sensitive jock Peter Kavinsky (Such a great YA boy name, no?), he has just under 16 million people double-tapping his every thirst trap.
So yeah, those numbers, along with the Halloween takeover of the movie, with many young Asian women dressing up as Lara Jean, give us a small idea of the pop culture impact the movie had.
But what would the sequel be about? Spoiler alert: the movie ended with Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky finally getting together after pretend-dating...only for a post-credits scene to reveal one of the other boys that Lara Jean had once written a letter to, John Ambrose McClaren, knocking on the Covey family's door.
Obviously, the John Ambrose McClaren fallout would likely play a major factor in the second movie, something director Susan Johnson has hinted at in interviews.
"Relationships are hard to navigate and they'll find themselves in one. And they'll discover what the next person might bring in John Ambrose McClaren," she told ET. "We're so invested in Peter and Lara Jean, that seeing them go through struggles is going to be hard but also something everybody can relate to. The next shiny face comes in and you're like, 'Oh shoot, this guy's really nice too. What do I do?'"
OK, we know, we know. It might be hard for fans to imagine any boy being as great as Peter Kavinsky, but the books actually deliver quite the love triangle...especially because Lara Jean and Peter are not actually together when the first novel ends.
The first novel in the trilogy came out in 2014, and ended with Lara Jean sitting down to write her first real love letter to Peter, hinting that a reconciliation and a real attempt at a real relationship after fake-dating could be in their future.
A little over a year later, Han released P.S. I Still Love You, which continued their complicated story and was intended to be the final book of Lara Jean and Peter's journey. And it's definitely made even more complicated when John officially enters the fight for Lara Jean's heart.
And in the ET interview, Johnson, who revealed all of the major players are all "attached contractually" for a follow-up, said the second movie would likely align with the second movie, but she did note, "We'll borrow from the third book [Always and Forever, Lara Jean] too like we did for the first movie."
So, ready for some quick backstory on John, who was briefly mentioned in the first movie before his post-credits arrival, with Lara Jean calling him "John Ambrose from Model U.N."?
He was actually a small but pretty integral part of the first book, with Lara Jean showing up at his school to address the letter/possibly try to get rid of her growing crush on Peter, but she chickens out at the last minute (though he does spot her). Still, she looks back on her crush on John most fondly, as it was actually John who kissed Lara Jean during that game of spin the bottle, not Peter. (Sorry to burst that bubble!)
While Lara Jean and John don't interact in the first book, John makes his official debut in a major way in P.S. I Still Love You, returning to Lara Jean's life in a pretty swoonworthy way: He writes her a letter back revealing he actually had a crush on her in eighth grade, too.
We eventually learn that Peter and John were pretty good friends before John moved away in middle school, losing touch with both Peter and Lara Jean. The childhood friendship aspect give the love triangle an added layer of history and tension, something fans of Jenny Han's writing know she does quite well. (We highly recommend The Summer I Turned Pretty series if you are looking for an epic love triangle that will leave you truly torn. Tease: The boys are brothers.)
"I love love triangles. I love that exquisite agony of wanting two things, and you can't have them both," Han said in a recent interview with Refinery29. "I like to draw that feeling out. A successful love triangle is one where you'll feel elated and heartbroken either way, no matter what happens."
But what about a love square?
Fans of Lara Jean and Peter will probably not be happy to hear that his ex-girlfriend, Genevieve, still plays a major factor in the sequel, with Peter still choosing to spend time with her (despite learning she did in fact leak the infamous hot tub makeout tape) and Lara Jean still struggling with the demise of her own middle school friendship with Gen. (Their fractured friendship and Gen's animosity toward Lara Jean is explored more in-depth in the sequel.)
For Centineo, he would be interested in exploring Peter's not-so-perfect side in the movie follow-up, telling the U.K, newspaper Metro earlier this year, "Maybe Peter can fall from the pedestal? Maybe he can change into not-so-good of a guy? Maybe we can show the dimensions to different people: how we can be heroes in one moment and villains in another?"
Fortunately for readers, John Ambrose was there to fill in the void for a bit as Peter displayed jealous tendencies, with the two forming a major connection first as pen pals, and then they spend more and more time together as his great grandmother, Stormy, lives at the retirement home Lara Jean works at in the books, and she is not-so-subtly trying to set them up.
Yes, Lara Jean gets a part-time gig teaching a scrapbooking class at a nursing home, and Stormy becomes an very important person in Lara Jean's life. And with quotes like this—"I don't think any man is my equal. Women are far superior and don't you forget it"—it's easy to see why.
"There's so many things in the second book that I would love to see in a sequel," Han said in an interview with IndieWire. "The whole reason why I wrote a second book was for the character of John Ambrose McClaren, who is a fan favorite, and he's a favorite of mine too. I would love to see that explored, and also there's a character called Stormy that I love to write. I would love to see that."
John is basically Peter's opposite—academically smart, a little nerdy, much more reserved, shy, so not a jock, etc.—but they are both equally dreamy, with John being described as a young Robert Redford, giving us a love triangle that keeps us on our toes until the final pages of P.S. I Still Love You.
Plus, just like her creator, our girl Lara Jean loves love...and is even told so in the second book:
Lara Jean, I think you half-fall in love with every person you meet. It's part of your charm. You're in love with love."
For Han, she wanted the follow-up to be "a throwback to a more old-fashioned way of dating," explaining in a 2014 interview, "It feels like there's more of a trend of people being really, really serious at a young age. I was kinda curious about exploring a sort of openness. It's old-fashioned but it's feminist, too. It's nice to see a girl figuring out who she is as she's having all these kinds of experiences."
As for Condor, she admitted to ET she is looking forward to seeing how the sequel's writers will navigate the love triangle after seeing just how much viewers connected to Lara Jean and Peter.
"Now that we know how the fans are responding to Lara Jean and Peter as a couple, I think it will be very interesting to see how the writer decides to maneuver that without making what is literally breaking people's hearts," she said. "It will be an interesting experience."
One of the couple's biggest fans? Condor herself, who admitted she was a bit "heartbroken" when reading P.S. I Still Love You.
"As a fan of Lara Jean and Peter, I'm heartbroken, but we're not saying that they don't inevitably end up together," she said to ET. "Of course, they're going to go through struggles as every couple does. But it's totally going to suck because I'm a huge fan of Lara Jean and Peter—and I say protect them at all costs!"
And she continued, "I want them to be together forever, so my reaction will be very genuine, because if they break up, I'm going to be very upset." (No pressure, screenwriters, and also, sorry, John Ambrose McClaren?!)
We won't spoil which boys she chooses in the end (if she doesn't pull a Kelly from Beverly Hills, 90210 and chose herself, that is!)...nor will we spoil any plot points from the third and final installment, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, which Han pulled a Beyonce and dropped as a surprise for fans in 2017.
"I did only intend to write two books. I've always thought of the first two books as two halves of a heart, but, when I was starting my next book, I kept thinking about Lara Jean and what would happen next," Han explained in an interview with Publisher's Weekly. There were things that couldn't fit in P.S. I Still Love You that could be explored in a third book. Ultimately, I want readers to feel satisfied with the trilogy as a whole. I think of Always and Forever, Lara Jean as dessert. I want it to be enjoyable."
It remains to be seen if Jordan Burtchett, the actor who portrays John in the final scene, will reprise the role in the sequel, but one other letter-receiving boy fans can expect to see more of is Josh Sanderson (Israel Broussard), Lara Jean's good friend/sister Margot's ex-boyfriend/Peter's sort of romantic rival in the first movie.
The screenwriters and director chose to downplay the Peter-Lara Jean-Josh love triangle in the first film, with Johnson revealing to ET, "It wasn't avoided but it was certainly cut down in post."
But Johnson added she hoped to explore the character more in a follow-up movie.
"I do feel like the character of Josh sort of got the short end of the stick a little bit, but there's room to tell part of his story in the next movie even though he's not so much in the second book," she said. "There needs to be some resolution with that, but I'm Team Josh too because I love the boy who plays him."
And Janel Parrish, who plays Lara Jean's older sis Margot, is rooting for a reconciliation between the former couple in the sequel.
"Speaking as somebody who hasn't read the second book, I'm hopeful that they actually get back together," Parrish told IndieWire. "I think she was trying so hard to be grown up and do what grown ups do and what grown-ups have to do. What her mom said is that she has to go to college and she has to be single and experience life. But I like to think and hope that she's not over Josh, and that maybe there's a chance."
P.S. Netflix has yet to officially announce the sequel or when we would be able to binge-watch it.
To All the Boys I've Loved Before is available to stream on Netflix.
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