It's almost impossible to watch Love, Simon, the coming out coming of age tale starring Nick Robinson that hits cinemas on 6th April, and not make parallels to Netflix's 13 Reasons Why.
For one thing, both narratives are based on popular YA novels published within a decade of each other: 13 Reasons Why, written by Jay Asher, came out in 2007, while Becky Albertalli's 2015 novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is the inspiration for Love, Simon. (Add in the fact that director Greg Berlanti is also a producer on the CW's Riverdale, and you've got the makings of a high school drama trifecta.)
And then there's the casting. 13 Reasons Why alums Katherine Langford and Miles Heizer both star in the film: Heizer makes an appearance as Cal, the pianist responsible for keeping the class production of Cabaret in tune (a mission that turns out to be nearly impossible), while Langford plays Leah Burke, Simon Spier's (Robinson) best friend.
But whether you're a fan of Langford's work on 13 Reasons Why or Love, Simon, get ready to see a lot more of her. The Australian actress will be reprising her role as Hannah Baker on the second season of the hit Netflix series when it returns later this year."Hannah's story is still very much not finished," Brian Yorkey, the show's writer, confirmed."She's an integral part of whatever the next chapter of the story is, and she's very much still at the centre of it."
And as for Leah? Fans of the book will know that Albertalli has written a sequel, called Leah On The Offbeat, which focuses entirely around Simon's BFF as she struggles to come out as bisexual in the weeks leading up to their high school graduation. The summary of the book, available 24th April, reads as follows:
"In this sequel to the acclaimed "Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda"—soon to be a major motion picture, "Love, Simon"—we follow Simon’s BFF Leah as she grapples with changing friendships, first love, and senior year angst. When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. She’s an anomaly in her friend group: the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends — not even her openly gay BFF, Simon. So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting — especially when she realises she might love one of them more than she ever intended."
And although there hasn't been any concrete talk of a sequel to the film, here's hoping that we get to see Langford reprise her performance as the quirky, deadpan, fiercely loyal and loving young woman. If nothing else, we deserve to see that John and Yoko Halloween costume again.
Refinery29 has reached out to Twentieth Century Fox for comment, and will update this story if and when we get a response.
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