Chemical Hearts is an unapologetic, coming of age story involving a hopeless romantic and a young woman with a mysterious past. Seventeen-year-old Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a romantic, but the kind of once-in-a-lifetime love he’s been hoping for just hasn’t happened yet. Then, on the first day of senior year, he meets transfer student Grace Town and it seems all that is about to change. When Grace and Henry are chosen to co-edit the school paper, he is immediately drawn to the mysterious newcomer. As he learns the heartbreaking secret that has changed her life, he finds himself falling in love with her —or at least the person he thinks she is. Available on Prime Video August 21.
DEADLINE – Austin Abrams, Alisha Boe, Talia Ryder, Paris Berelc, Jonathan Daviss, Maia Reficco and Ava Capri have joined the Netflix dark comedy Strangers. They join Camila Mendes, Maya Hawke, Rish Shah and Sophie Turner in the pic, which will be directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Robinson co-wrote the script along with Celeste Ballard.
Robinson will produce along with Anthony Bregman and Peter Cron for Likely Story, which currently has an overall deal with Netflix.
Strangers is a subverted Hitchcock-ian dark comedy featuring the scariest protagonists of all: teenage girls. The film is set after a clandestine meet-cute, watching as Drea (Alpha, it girl) and Eleanor (beta, alt girl) team up to go after each other’s bullies.
DEADLINE – Netflix has started production on Dash & Lily, an eight-episode holiday romantic comedy series, from Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps and Nick Jonas’ Image 32. It marks the fifth Netflix series for Levy, who signed one of the first big overall deals with the streamer and has emerged as one of its most prolific producers.
Austin Abrams (Euphoria, This Is Us) and Midori Francis (Good Boys) lead the cast of the half-hour series, based on the YA book series Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares from authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. It also includes series regulars Dante Brown (Lethal Weapon, MA) and Troy Iwata (Broadway’s Be More Chill, New Amsterdam) and recurring Keana Marie (Huge in France), James Saito (Always Be My Maybe), and Jodi Long (Sullivan & Son).
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Actor Nat Wolff is best known for his roles in films like The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns and Death Note, but now he is set to take his talent behind the camera with his directorial debut Youngest.
Written by Wolff, the short film will star June Van Patten, Austin Abrams and Michael Gandolfini, the son of James Gandolfini who will continue his father’s legacy in the upcoming prequel to The Sopranos, news that Deadline exclusively announced in January. Olivia Boreham-Wing and Jake Ryan round out the cast.
Youngest is produced by Related Pictures and Table7 Productions in association with Rollin Studios. Ken H. Keller and Caron Rudner serve as producers.
DEADLINE – EXCLUSIVE: Hulu has opted not to proceed with two pilots, drama Less Than Zero and comedy Search and Destroy.
Less Than Zero, based on Bret Easton Ellis’ novel, hailed from Ellis, Greenleaf creator Craig Wright and Fox 21 Television Studios. Adapted by Wright and directed by Brett Morgan, Less Than Zero followed Clay (Austin Abrams), a college freshman returning home for Christmas to spend time with his ex-girlfriend and his friend who struggles with addiction.
“It was a tonally very ambitious but ultimately it didn’t feel like the elements came together,” Hulu SVP Craig Erwich told Deadline.
While some premium/streaming networks like Netflix only do straight-to-series orders, Hulu employs both that and the traditional pilot model and is planning to continue to do so.
“The pilots versus series, a lot of factors go into that decision, and we make the decision based on the individual circumstances around each of these projects,” Erwich said. “There are some projects that require more tonal proof of concept; sometimes we prefer to do a pilot to see if we can get it right.”