Heartstopper by Alice Oseman is a YA graphic novel which was originally launched as a web comic on the online platforms Tumblr and Tapas before then being published by Hachette Children’s Group. Heartstopper is an LGBTQIA+ graphic novel which tells the story of Nick and Charlie who attend an all-boys grammar school.
Charlie is a highly-strung openly gay over thinker while Nick is a cheerful and soft-hearted rugby player. After they are made to sit together in school one day, they quickly become friends and soon, Charlie finds himself falling for Nick, hard, even though he’s sure he doesn’t have a chance with him. Nick, however, is far more interested in Charlie than either of them realise and love begins to work in mysterious ways.
Heartstopper is a novel about love, friendship and mental illness which is now being adapted for the small screen. The live-action eight-part half-hour episodes series will be written by the book’s author, Alice Oseman and it will be directed by Dr Who and Sherlock’s Euros Lyn.
See-Saw films, the company behind Top of the Lake and State of the Union, optioned the rights to Alice Oseman’s comic back in July 2019 and the company’s Patrick Walters, Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning and Emile Sherman will executive produce alongside Euros Lyn. While Zorana Piggott of See-Saw films will be the project’s producer.
The live-action series will be distributed via the streaming platform Netflix. Alexi Wheeler, Director, Kids & Family Content, said that “it was clear right away that Alice not only had created these brilliant and emotionally engaging characters, but the world they populated was relatable yet somehow aspirational. The whole thing is just so poignant and beautifully crafted. To tell a love story between two boys who meet at school involves such vision and creative focus, Alice has absolutely delivered this here.”
He added, “When we started to develop the project we collectively decided that Alice had such a clear vision that it would make sense for her to adapt and write the episodes herself; this has paid dividends and we are confident that the 8 episodes we have commissioned will live up to the expectations of existing fans while also engaging a new audience. Alice is only 26 years old but her talent as a storyteller is astounding.”
Creator Oseman said she was “over the moon” that Heartstopper would be landing on Netflix. She stated, “I feel incredibly lucky to get to work with a team of passionate, creative people who all adore Heartstopper and want to make it the most beautiful show we can. It’s a joy and an honour to get to re-tell Nick and Charlie’s story for TV and I am so excited to share it not only with Heartstopper’s existing readership, but also a whole new audience around the world.”