Thursday, February 29, 2024

Amazon adaptation of Jenny Han trilogy to shoot in Wilmington, new details on ‘Our Kind of People’

A third film production is coming to Wilmington. (Port City Daily photo/Alexandria Sands)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. –– Wilmington’s coastal scenery has helped the film industry once again land a major project in 2021. Another streaming service is preparing to shoot a beach-set adaptation of a teen romance novel in the area this summer.

Put on by Amazon Studios and production company wiip, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is currently in pre-production, according to the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

RELATED: Streaming demand takes over Screen Gems

The show is based on a trilogy of novels by popular author Jenny Han. In recent years, Han’s “To All the Boys” series was picked up by Netflix and found success on the platform. It was one of Netflix’s “most viewed original films ever with strong repeat viewing,” according to the company’s earnings reports.

Han served as executive producer on the three rom-coms. Her latest film endeavor, “The Summer I Turned Pretty,” is a coming-of-age tale based on the love triangle between two brothers –– Conrad and Jeremiah –– and protagonist Belly, Deadline reported. Each summer the lifelong friends meet in the fictional town of Cousins Beach, where Belly’s family friend owns a vacation home.

According to multiple entertainment outlets, newcomer Lola Tung is leading as Belly. Jackie Chung is acting as Belly’s mom Laurel, and Christopher Briney is one of the love interests, Conrad.

Rachel Blanchard, who is well-known for her role as Cher in the beloved ‘90s hit “Clueless,” is appearing as Susannah.

Amazon has ordered eight episodes, with Han penning the pilot. She will also executive produce and co-showrun along with Gabrielle Stanton. Karen Rosenfelt and Paul Lee, Nne Ebong and Hope Hartman are executive producers as well.

Published in 2009, “The Summer I Turned Pretty” is the first of the three novels in Han’s series. “It’s Not Summer Without You” and “We’ll Always Have Summer” were released in the subsequent two years.

The TV series joins two other projects currently in the area: Fox series “Our Kind of People,” which is still in pre-production, and Netflix film “Along for the Ride,” another project based on a young adult novel set in a charming beach town. Chapel Hill resident Sarah Dessen authored the bestselling book.

“Our Kind of People” is just as in need of coastal backdrops and is filming scenes at EUE/Screen Gems Studios. The plot is set on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

Fox recently announced the series, which focuses on a Black-centered community, will premiere this fall on Tuesday nights at 9 p.m., following “The Resident” at 8 p.m.

Actress Yaya DaCosta was quickly cast as Angela Vaughn after leaving behind her starring role on “Chicago Med,” Deadline reported. Vaughn, a single mom with a Black hair-care business, sets out to reclaim her family name but soon uncovers a dark secret from her mother’s past.

DaCosta previously worked with the show’s executive producer Lee Daniels on the 2013 film “The Butler.”

Actor Morris Chestnut, also known as Dr. Barrett Cain in the medical drama “The Resident,” is starring as male lead Raymond Dupont. According to Deadline, he plays a powerful man from wealthy roots with “Obama swag and presence.” Raymond is the husband of Vaughn’s nemesis.

Chestnut will continue to appear on “The Resident.”

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Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands
Alexandria Sands is a journalist covering New Hanover County and education. Before Port City Daily, she reported for the award-winning State Port Pilot in Southport. She graduated from UNC Charlotte and wrote for several Charlotte publications while there. When not writing, Williams is most likely in the gym, reading or spending time with her Golden Pyrenees. Reach her at or on Twitter @alexsands_

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