Director Susan Johnson and author Jenny Han look ahead to a possible second film and reveal what they'd like to explore in the story.
Warning: This story contains spoilers from Netflix's To All the Boys I've Loved Before, as well as the books. For behind-the-scenes secrets from the movie, read our in-depth Q&A with director Susan Johnson.
The thirst for a follow-up movie to the surprise teen hit, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, is real.
Less than a week after the charming rom-com premiered on Netflix, fans have been fawning over every adorably sweet moment between Lara Jean Song Covey (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo), who, in the beginning, signed into a fake relationship only to find themselves in love and in a very real one by the end. A credits scene features the unexpected arrival of John Ambrose McClaren (Jordan Burtchett), one of Lara Jean's love letter recipients, which provides a major clue into where a potential sequel could go if (or rather, when) Netflix greenlights it.
As readers of Jenny Han's best-selling trilogy know, there are two more novels after To All the Boys and the character of John Ambrose McClaren, a fan favorite, is a big player in the second book, P.S. I Still Love You. While we likely won't be hearing about an official sequel for at least a few more weeks, the creative team behind To All the Boys is just as anxious about getting a sequel off the ground as you are.
"We’re all attached contractually if we want to do the movie again, which is super exciting, and if our schedules all key up," director Susan Johnson tells ET, adding she'd likely return to helm the follow-up movie. "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."
"I would love it," Han, who makes a cameo in the first movie as a school dance chaperone, tells ET of a possible sequel. 'If people want more, then I want to be able to give them more."
Though the script for a potential follow-up has not been written, Johnson already has ideas for what the new movie would revolve around and it would likely follow the events laid out in P.S. I Still Love You. For To All the Boys, Han offered notes on screenwriter Sofia Alvarez's script, shared mood boards for Lara Jean's room and style, and discussed character motivations with Johnson and the producers.
"I think so," Johnson says, when asked if a sequel would align with the trilogy's second novel. "We’ll borrow from the third book [Always and Forever, Lara Jean] too like we did for the first movie. 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."
As for what a To All the Boys sequel would likely explore, Johnson hints that the happy ending Lara Jean and Peter got at the end of the first movie will be short-lived, especially with the arrival of John Ambrose McClaren.
"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," Johnson says of Lara Jean and Peter's next chapter. "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."
"We’re so invested in Peter and Lara Jean, that seeing them go through struggles is going to be hard but also something everybody can relate to," she adds. "The next shiny face comes in and you’re like, Oh shoot, this guy’s really nice too. What do I do?."
One storyline Johnson hopes to resolve more fully in a possible sequel is Josh Sanderson's (Israel Broussard) arc. In the first book, Josh is part of a love triangle between Lara Jean and Peter, which the movie downplayed.
"It wasn’t avoided but it was certainly cut down in post. We had shot a little bit more than was there and we shot a resolution to that storyline, but at the end of the day, if we wanted to keep the momentum going for the chemistry that was taking over the film between Peter and Lara Jean, other things had to get cut down a little bit," Johnson explains.
"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. There needs to be some resolution with that, but I’m Team Josh too because I love the boy who plays him," she says. "It was a conscious decision on the part of Sofia [Alvarez], the writer, and Jenny and the others who developed the script because when I got it, there wasn’t too much more of Josh in that story, so I was a little surprised too."
To All the Boys I've Loved Before is available to stream on Netflix.
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