Netflix is to adapt the Heartstopper graphic novels by Young Adult author Alice Oseman into a new eight-part series, with Doctor Who director Euros Lyn at the helm.

See-Saw Films, known for Top of the Lake and State of the Union, optioned the comic series eighteen months ago. Heartstopper was originally launched as a webcomic via Tumblr before being published in four volumes by Hachette Children’s Group.

Oseman, who published her first novel Solitaire in 2014 at age 19, will be writing the half-hour episodes. Lyn and See-Saw Executive Producer Patrick Walters will be joined by Jamie Laurenson, Hakan Kousetta, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman as executive producers.

Heartstopper follows Charlie Spring, brother of Solitaire protagonist Tori, as he develops a relationship with soft-hearted rugby player Nick Nelson while at an all-boys grammar school.

The original graphic novel is beloved by fans around the world
Source: Alice Oseman

Covering themes including LGBTQ+ love, friendships, and family, as well as exploring Charlie’s experience of an eating disorder, the webcomic is popular with fans across the world and has been translated into over 15 languages.

Oseman’s novels Radio Silence, I Was Born For This, and Loveless have received critical and audience acclaim for their diverse representation and sensitive handling of difficult issues, and their relatability for teen audiences.

Oseman said she was “over the moon”:

“[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.”

Netflix’s Director of Kids and Family Content, Alexi Wheeler, knew he had found something “incredible” the first time See-Saw pitched Heartstopper.

“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…. To tell a love story between two boys who meet at school involves such vision and creative focus, and Alice has absolutely delivered this here,” he said.

Director Lyn said he was excited to “bring the drama and humour of this joyous boy-meets-boy love story to the screen”, while See-Saw’s Patrick Walters called the project a “joyful tonic for these troubled times”.

No release date has yet been set by Netflix.

Words by Alice Hiley

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