The U.S. has never had a big-screen gay teen romance that received a wide release, but Greg Berlanti, producer of the CW's Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl, is changing things. His film Love, Simon, based on the book Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, is set to premiere in 2018. The story follows Simon, a gay high school kid who hasn't come out to his friends or family, but falls for one of his classmates in an anonymous online chat.
do you ever just remember the fact that love, simon is happening and it's only a few months away and your whole day is suddenly better— love, julia (@minyord) October 31, 2017
Berlanti, an openly gay man who is engaged to soccer star Robbie Rogers, has dipped his toe in similar territory before. His 2000 indie comedy The Broken Hearts Club follows a group of gay men in Hollywood as they deal with an unexpected tragedy. The movie helped jump-start the careers of actors like Zach Braff, Timothy Olyphant, and Justin Theroux.
Most recently, Berlanti has served as producer of the CW show Riverdale, but he's decided to bring all of his prior experiences together as director of Love, Simon.
In every other major studio film, it’s always the guy and the girl. And there was something so powerful about it being just a guy imagining himself with this other guy in a film again that was going to be marketed and sold as a mainstream romantic comedy.
The film's cast includes Jennifer Garner, Josh Duhamel, Nick Robinson, Katherine Langford, and Alexandra Shipp, but the real star of the show is the wide release and mainstream-sized marketing budget from 20th Century Fox. This is the first time in history a romantic comedy centered around two gay teens has received that show of faith. Even overwhelmingly popular films like Brokeback Mountain were given only a limited release.
love, simon is gonna be the greatest movie of our generation i speak that into existence i planted the seed and i will see the harvest— love, anna / pinned (@ourdarkduet) October 31, 2017
The film is an important milestone for Hollywood, whose higher-ups are famously wary of flops, in the commercial viability of a homosexual romance. So far, the film seems to be off to a great start and, hopefully, 20th Century Fox's choice to back the film will inspire many similar moves in the future.