Taylor Zakhar Perez (The Kissing Booth 2 & 3) and Nicolas Galitzine (Cinderella) have been tapped to direct the Prime Video romantic comedy Red, white and royal blue, based on Casey McQuiston’s bestselling novel of the same name. Tony Award-winning playwright Matthew López (The legacy) will direct, in his first feature film, with Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld), Stephen Fry (The stall) and Sarah Shahi (sex/life) also on board to play.
Red, white and royal blue follows Mexican-American character Alex Claremont-Diaz (Perez) who, upon his mother’s election as president, is quickly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, brilliant – his image is pure millennial marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a long-standing feud with his royal counterpart across the pond, Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine). And when the tabloids get their hands on a photo implying an altercation between the two, US-British relations deteriorate.
Heads of families, states and other managers devise a plan to limit the damage: organize a truce between the two rivals. What starts out as a fake Instagrammable friendship turns into something more meaningful than Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon, Alex finds himself thrust into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstilted Henry that could complicate his mother’s re-election campaign and upend two nations, and begs the question: can love save the world after all?
Along with being an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, McQuiston’s book was a Goodreads Choice Award winner for “Best Debut” and “Best Novel of 2019.” It was also named “Best Book of the Year” by Vogue, NPR, Vanity Fair and many others. Ted Malawer wrote an early draft of the screenplay, with López later adapting McQuiston’s novel for the big screen. The film will also star Rachel Hilson (winning time), Ellie Bamber (The snake), Anesh Sheth (A child like Jake), Polo Morin (Who killed Sarah?), Ahmed Elhaj (Dangerous Liaisons) and Akshay Khanna (Polite society). Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter of Berlanti/Schechter Films will produce, with Michael McGrath, López and McQuiston serving as executive producers.
Manufacturing on Red, white and royal blue starts in the UK this month. The film, from Amazon Studios and Berlanti/Schechter Films, will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories around the world.
“It was a pleasure to entrust this story to Berlanti/Schechter, Amazon and our fearless leader Matthew López and to watch them make so many smart, bold and thoughtful choices to bring it to life,” McQuiston said. “This cast is no exception. I can’t wait to see Taylor and Nicholas on screen as Alex and Henry.
“Meeting and auditioning literally hundreds of actors over the past few months has been a painstaking labor of love that has brought us this diverse and extraordinary cast, so fantastically led by Nick and Taylor,” López added. “I can’t wait for fans of the book (and indeed the world over) to experience just how remarkably gifted and perfect these two actors are in bringing Henry and Alex to life.”
Perez is perhaps best known for his role as Marco in the second and third episodes of The kissing booth franchise. He was recently seen in the acclaimed HBO Max series Naughtyopposite Ophelia Lovibond, and will next be seen in Prime Video’s 1Up.
Galitzine will next be considered Netflix’s male lead purple hearts, alongside Sofia Carson. He also recently starred as Prince Robert in Cinderella for Prime Video, opposite Camila Cabello. Before that, he played the male lead in Zoe Lister-Jones The profession: heritage. On the television side, it can be seen in Netflix’s Bedrooms. Additional credits include To share, handsome devil, The rhythm under my feet, The tilt and The Watcher in the Woods.
Collins is an Emmy nominee best known for his roles on HBO Westworld, star trek, Pacific Rim and Hood. He recently starred in Sony Pictures Classics Jockeyfor which he won Best Actor at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards, along with A24’s After Yang and projector images’ alley of nightmares. Then he will be seen in MGM’s Unseen Hand Landscape and that of Renny Harlin Mason.
Fry is a SAG Award winner whose recent credits include The stall for Hulu, It’s a sin for C4/HBO Max, and upcoming series The sand man for Netflix.
Shahi will next be seen alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and an all-star cast in the Warner Bros. feature, black adam. She recently wrapped production on the second season of Netflix sex/lifeand is also known for her work on Showtime city on a hill. Additional credits include series regular roles on The word I, The recruit, person of interest and the USA Fairly legal.
Berlanti/Schechter Films is a production company founded by Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated writer, director and producer Greg Berlanti and his Emmy- and PGA-nominated producing partner Sarah Schechter. The company recently wrapped production on Michael Grandage’s Amazon movie my policeman, based on the novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, which stars Harry Styles and Emma Corrin. It is also currently in pre-production on Netflix. Atlas with Jennifer Lopez.
Perez is replaced by Hyperion and Felker Toczek Suddleson; Galitzine by Curtis Brown Group in the UK, WME, Anonymous Content and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Collins by CAA, Mgmt Entertainment and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Fry by Hamilton Hodell in the UK and ICM Partners; Shahi by CAA and AFA Prime Talent Media; and López by CAA, Grandview and Gang, Tyre, Ramer.