A sequel to Netflix’s breakaway hit To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is officially in the works, and it represents a major new path forward for the film industry.
Netflix has brokered a multi-picture deal with Paramount, with Paramount supplying Netflix with original movies in exchange for a part of the revenue stream, according to the Hollywood Reporter. That’s a major shift in strategy on the studio’s part. While other studios are keeping their movies off Netflix so they can develop their own proprietary streaming services, Paramount is essentially sleeping with the enemy.
It remains an open question whether the move will pay off for Paramount and represent the new status quo, with studios essentially becoming content suppliers for streaming giants, or if it represents Paramount’s last gasp. Either way, one of the first movies discussed as part of the deal is a sequel to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
To All the Boys was not produced by Netflix, but by Will Smith’s production company Awesomeness, which was acquired by Paramount parent company Viacom this summer. Netflix distributed the movie as part of its “summer of love” push to revive the rom-com, and it ended up breaking records, becoming one of Netflix’s “most viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing.” So appetite for a sequel would have been predictably high at Netflix, but they needed to make a deal with Viacom to get their hands on it.
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, director Susan Johnson confirmed the story, writing, “Well, the cat’s out of the bag! Thanks for the support, everyone!!! It’s all you!”
As for what the sequel might be about? Well, To All the Boys is based on a trilogy of novels by Jenny Han, and the first movie covered roughly the first book and a half. Odds are pretty good that the sequel will pick up where the first movie left off, about halfway through P.S. I Still Love You.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in August, Johnson hinted that she’d like to explore the love triangle that emerges halfway through that volume, when John Ambrose McLaren — one of the recipients of Lara Jean’s love letters, who shows up in the post-credits tag of the movie — emerges as romantic rival for Lara Jean’s affections.
(Personally, I’d argue that working through that love triangle would mean retreading the emotional arc of the last third of the movie, and I’d urge Johnson to turn instead to Han’s third volume, Always and Forever, Lara Jean, which deals with Lara Jean and Peter preparing to go to college and as such brings us full circle to Margot and Josh’s breakup at the beginning of book one. Critic Myles McNutt has a great explanation of why it would be a stronger story choice, but you do you, Susan Johnson! I am not the one who directed one of Netflix’s most-viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing!)
So far, no details about the sequel have been released, but we’ll keep you updated as we learn more. And when the sequel comes, we’ll be waiting for it to spin us around by our collective back pocket.