entertainment

Netflix to adapt graphic novel Heartstopper, about two schoolboys who fall in love, for TV

"There was no way we could not make it"

2021-01-20

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture:

Hit graphic novel Heartstopper is to be adapted into a live-action TV series, Netflix have announced.

The streaming service revealed the news today in a blog post, calling the story of two schoolboys falling a love one that "needs to be told."

Original author Alice Oseman will adapt the eight episodes herself, with Euros Lyn, who has worked on Doctor Who, serving as director.

The first volume of the YA story hit shelves in 2017 and there are now a total of four.

"There was no way we could not make it" 

Alexi Wheeler, Director of Kids & Family Content for the streaming service, said in a moving blog post: "We knew we were being pitched something incredible the first time See-Saw introduced us to the creator and artist/writer behind Heartstopper, Alice Oseman.

"It was clear right away that Alice not only had created these brilliant and emotionally engaging characters, but the world they populated was relatable yet somehow aspirational. The whole thing is just so poignant and beautifully crafted. To tell a love story between two boys who meet at school involves such vision and creative focus, Alice has absolutely delivered this here.

"Heartstopper started out as a webcomic in 2016 and it is no surprise that something as brilliant as this hasn’t taken long to develop a large and loyal fanbase. The graphic novels are beautiful and compulsive reads laced with a unique style; sweetness and romance crossing over with contemporary and compelling plotlines. Our lead characters, Charlie and Nick, meet at school and become friends before gradually developing a romantic relationship.

"The emotional tension is brilliantly portrayed and I felt joy and nerves for them both throughout. When we started to develop the project we collectively decided that Alice had such a clear vision that it would make sense for her to adapt and write the episodes herself; this has paid dividends and we are confident that the eight episodes we have commissioned will live up to the expectations of existing fans while also engaging a new audience. Alice is only 26 years old but her talent as a storyteller is astounding.

"We are clear in our ambition to entertain the world and that means making the best quality content for all of our viewers. We are especially aware that younger audiences are looking for relatable and sincere stories dealing with real life subjects; not shying away from elements of their own lives.

"This is a story that deserves to be told. Beyond anything else I have worked on in my career, the feeling regarding Heartstopper was that there was no way we could not make it. Alongside Alice, Heartstopper is being directed by the acclaimed Euros Lyn and incredible team at See-Saw Films - the best possible team to bring this world to life.

"I am so proud to be championing Charlie and Nick’s story. We care deeply that all young people see themselves reflected in our content, and are hopeful that many people, whatever their age or identity, will see themselves in this bold and uplifting series."

The Attitude 101 February issue featuring 101 LGBTQ trailblazers is out now.

Subscribe in print and get your first three issues for just £3, or digitally for just over £1 per issue.