Sunday, June 26, 2022

Amazon’s ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ gets release date. Is its return to ILM imminent?

‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ season one was filmed in the greater Wilmington area, including Fort Fisher as seen above. (Amazon Studios/Photo by Peter Taylor)

WILMINGTON — Last year, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” produced by wiip Studios in collaboration with Amazon Studios, spent five months filming across the greater Wilmington area. Now streaming audiences will have a chance to see the final product.

According to a release from Amazon Studios, the young adult series will debut June 17.

The coming-of-age tale follows the love triangle between two brothers — Conrad (Christopher Briney) and Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) — and a teenage girl, Belly (Lola Tung). The plot centers on first love, the magic of summer and inevitable heartbreak, as well as “multigenerational drama” involving parental relationships and friendships.

READ MORE: ‘Hightown’ season three renewed, filming returns to Wilmington

The series also stars Jackie Chung, Sean Kaufman, Rachel Blanchard, Alfred Narcisco, Minnie Mills, Collin Ferguson and Tom Everett Scott.

The locally filmed series ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ will be released on Amazon on June 17. (Amazon Studios/Photo by Dana Hawley)

An adaptation of Jenny Han’s 2009 novel, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is the first in a trilogy comprising “It’s Not Summer Without You” and “We’ll Always Have Summer.” The New York Times Best Selling author wrote the pilot and served as showrunner with Gabrielle Stanton. Both also are executive producers of the show, alongside Karen Rosenfelt, Hope Hartman, Mads Hansen, and Nne Ebong. 

From spring through fall 2021, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” filmed at numerous locations across town, including Carolina Beach and Fort Fisher, as well as in Wilmington proper, such as Wave Transit’s Padgett Station on N. 3rd Street. Amazon and Netflix — the latter of which filmed “Florida Man” at a Wave Transit station as well — donated $4,500 to the public transportation’s Making Waves Foundation nonprofit, which provides fare subsidies for passengers in need.

READ MORE: Netflix, Amazon projects donate to Wave Transit’s foundation after filming at bus stations

Han has produced work for Netflix, too, including the film trilogy “To All the Boys.” She recently announced she will launch a spinoff series, “XO, Kitty,” on the streamer with the dual role of executive producer and co-showrunner.

Recently, the writer strengthened her relationship with Amazon by inking a deal to create more original content under Jenny Kissed Me, a new production company she founded. Han’s work will stream in over 200 countries worldwide.

“I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember,” she told The Hollywood Reporter, “first on the page, then onscreen, and now I’m delighted to start this new chapter: creating and championing stories about coming of age at every age for Prime Video’s global audience.”

“The Summer I Turned Pretty” was one of over a dozen projects that helped Wilmington’s film industry reach peak performance in 2021, bringing in over $300 million. According to Johnny Griffin of the Wilmington Film Commission, approximately 150 local crew members helped with the Amazon production. 

“On the application they submitted, it was estimated that the local spend would be $36 million,” Griffin wrote to Port City Daily.

So far in 2022, the area has welcomed the Spectrum Originals series “George and Tammy,” starring Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon. The show wrapped at the beginning of April.

Season three of STARZ’s “Hightown” is set to film in Wilmington this summer, the network confirmed to PCD last month. Also filming in Southport is the independent film “The Problem with Providence,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Lily James.

Sources close to “The Summer I Turned Pretty” confirmed to Port City Daily season two is returning to Wilmington. Crews are on hold to begin filming by summer.

Griffin didn’t have information to release regarding the production’s plans. Port City Daily reached out to Amazon Studios about season two; the article will be updated with more information if and when a representative responds.

The locally filmed series ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’ will be released on Amazon on June 17. (Amazon Studios/Photo by Dana Hawley)

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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