Susan Johnson’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before was the big success story of Netflix’s recent Summer Of Love event, leading the streaming service’s new push into romantic comedies as one of its most successful original movies ever. (According to Netflix itself, anyway.) Adapted from a book-and-a-half of Jenny Han’s bestselling Lara Jean series of young adult romance novels, the film starred Lana Condor as a high school junior who writes long letters to boys she has crushes on, only to have them all get mailed out by her mischievous little sister.
Like we said, the film was a big hit (and also an excellent marketing vehicle for Japanese yogurt brands), so it’s not surprising that a sequel might be in the works. Earlier today, film executives floated the potential for a follow-up movie, leading Johnson to issue a (since-deleted) Instagram post stating that “the cat was out of the bag.” Netflix later clarified that a completed deal had yet to be reached, but still, it’s obvious that the potential for ever more boys, ever more loves is very clearly in the air down in streaming land.
But hey, even if you’re some kind of emotionally stunted streaming industry wonk—and thus incapable of this sickening sensation called love, surplus boys be damned—there’s still some pretty juicy material to think about here in terms of the way the business works. That’s because TATBILB 2: BOYZONE is only even possible because of a big deal that Netflix signed with Paramount a few weeks ago, allowing the studio—which picked up one of the original To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before’s production companies shortly after the movie became a big Netflix hit—to directly create movies for the service.
Given that Netflix spent years picking up the crumbs of whatever studios would deign to license to them before deciding, “Fuck it, we’ll just make our own,” this represents a pretty huge potential shift in the way the industry works, with tech companies calling the shots and venerable studios serving as just one more group of subordinate “content providers.” (It’s worth noting that A24 recently did something pretty similar with Apple, albeit on an obviously smaller scale.)
Of course, it’s also not clear whether this is the start of a viable new partnership, or just a way for Paramount to try to deal with its recently shaky fortunes by pawning off expensive projects it’s not necessarily crazy about. (Looking at you, The Cloverfield Paradox). All we ask, though, is this: Won’t someone please think of the boys?