Just about everybody and their dog right now is chatting away about the new Netflix film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. And there’s plenty to talk about, because the high school flick is based around a situation that most people would find completely mortifying. In the film, protagonist Lara Jean loses a box filled with no-filters love letters to all of her classroom crushes; ranging from previous spin-the-bottle kisses to her arch-enemy’s jock boyfriend. Uh-oh.
After a messy summer of hiding from her crushes in tree houses, and staging a fake relationship in order to lie low, Lara Jean unexpectedly ends up writing one final love letter to a certain man. But the question is, will we get a sequel?
In short, it seems likely. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is based on a three-part Young Adult fiction series by the American author Jenny Han. Based on her own habit of penning embarrassing letters for people she’s crushing on, the Netflix film covers the plot of Han’s first book of the same name. However, Will Smith’s production company Overbrook Entertainment have the film rights for the entire novel series, and they have yet to adapt her other two novels P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean.
- Returning characters confirmed for sequel
So, what’s the deal?
On December 19, the sequel was officially announced. Star Lana Condor shared a video to her Instagram page, which saw her trying to decide what to get co-star Noah Centineo for Christmas. He then video calls her and the pair discuss a new Christmas contract before Condor asks if she can share their secret. “Go for it,” Centineo says.
“I am so excited, it is officially official!” she says. “We are making the ‘To All The Boys’ sequel!”
“Bring on the sequel!” Centineo replies. “We are so excited.”
Condor then gets another call and seeming even more excited, she says to the caller “You’re gonna make the perfect John Ambrose!” Watch the official announcement below.
— Netflix US (@netflix) December 19, 2018
Director Susan Johnson has already stated she’d like to stay at the helm of a follow-up. “We’re all attached contractually if we want to do the movie again, which is super exciting, and if our schedules all key up,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “Netflix said that their general timeframe is 28 days; they watch how well the movie does over the period of a month and once that’s over, they can make a decision about a sequel. I love the fans being vocal about it, the more, the better.”
Jenny Han, the author behind the original book series, also expressed her support for a sequel. Han appears in Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before adaptation as a chaperone at the high school dance. “I would love it,” she told ET. “’If people want more, then I want to be able to give them more.”
What sort of developments can we expect from a sequel?
In short, Lara Jean might not get her happily-ever-after ending. Susan Johnson hinted that a possible sequel would borrow heavily from the plot points of the two remaining series novels, P.S. I Still Love You and Always and Forever, Lara Jean. “We’ll borrow from the third book [Always and Forever, Lara Jean] too like we did for the first movie,” she said. “It’s pretty fluid. The script isn’t written, but I’m anxious to have them say yes so we can get going on it really quickly because you don’t want to rush it. But at the same time, you don’t want them to be 30 years old playing 17.”
She added that a second installment would most likely introduce a new character named John Ambrose McClaren. While the film mentions four characters who have received love letters – Josh, Peter, Lucas and Kenny – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’s synopsis mentions five letters in total. Eagle-eyed viewers who stick around for the end credits will have noticed that the reciever of the fifth and final letter – John Ambrose McClaren – appears at her door. Otherwise, John doesn’t feature in the film at all. Cliffhanger, much?
Johnson suggested that the arrival of John might place a strain on Lara Jean’s happy – but contractless – new relationship. “The struggle of what that means and not having a contract and trust — all those issues that they talk about on the field at the very last scene,” she clarified. “”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.”
“Seeing them go through struggles is going to be hard but also something everybody can relate to,” she continues. “The next shiny face comes in and you’re like, Oh shoot, this guy’s really nice too. What do I do?.”
And what about Lara Jean’s other crushes?
Johnson also told Entertainment Tonight that she’d love to explore Josh’s character in more detail in a sequel; despite his absence from the second book. “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 explained.
Which characters are returning?
On March 22, Netflix confirmed that Lana Condor and Noah Centineo will be reprising their roles as Lara Jean and Peter.
Anna Cathcart and Janel Parrish will also be returning as Lara Jean’s sassy siblings, while John Corbett will be returning as their father.
Currently there’s no word whether Israel Broussard will be returning as Jean’s crush Josh.
The sequel also has a new director – Michael Fimognari. Fimognari served as director of photography on the original movie and due to Susan Johnson’s hectic schedule, he’ll now be taking over.
“Directing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been one of the great experiences of my life, and I am grateful to the fans for their passionate support of the film,” Johnson said in a statement.
“Due to the timing of my other projects I won’t be directing the sequel, but as an executive producer, I am looking forward to continuing to share Lara Jean’s story and being part of this franchise.”
When can we expect a sequel to land, then?
If what director Susan Johnson claims about Netflix’s general timeframe for measuring the success of a new movie is true (she says the streaming giant holds off for 28 days before making a call), we won’t be left in the dark for long. While Netflix doesn’t publically share streaming numbers, it’s safe to assume that To All The Boys… is topping current rankings.
Actor Lana Condor – who plays the lead role of Lara Jean – even posted on Instagram encouraging fans of the film to carry on streaming to boost the likelihood of a follow-up. “ I propose we break the internet with this as to insure we get a sequel… feel me?” she wrote.
Speaking to Teen Vogue, Condor added that she’s on board to reprise her role; she’s just waiting for the call. “I would love to,” she said. “I haven’t heard of anything official, but I’ve heard some very positive things.”I think it all comes down to if people watch the movie and if they’re vocal about it in a positive way. So, we’ll see. I would love to do a second and a third one. And I know when we were shooting it — Noah [Centineo], Israel [Broussard], Janel [Parrish], everyone — we all talked about wanting to start the second one immediately after. So, we’re definitely on board.”