EXCLUSIVE: In a very competitive situation, with five streamers/networks bidding, Netflix has nabbed a series adaptation of Adam Silvera’s No. 1 New York Times bestselling YA novel They Both Die at the End, I have learned. The project, which hails from Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen, Yellowjackets executive producer Drew Comins and studio eOne as well as music superstar Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, known professionally as Bad Bunny, has received a significant, script-to-series commitment, I hear. It marks Van Dusen’s return to Netflix where he created and served as executive producer/showrunner on the first two seasons of Shondaland’s hit period drama Bridgerton, each of them ranking as Netflix’s most popular English-language TV series at the time of their launch.
Emmy and PGA Award-nominated Van Dusen is writing the pilot script and is executive producing through his CVD Productions alongside Silvera, Ocasio, and Comins via his eOne-based Creative Engine.
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Entertainment One, which is the studio on the project, acquired U.S. rights to Silvera’s novel in the spring of 2021 for Comins, a growing force in the YA premium space on the heels of the success of Showtime’s Yellowjackets. Van Dusen came on board a year later when he was wrapping his two-season run on Bridgerton and had identified the They Both Die at the End novel as the kind of project he would like to tackle next.
At eOne, the project is overseen by Jacqueline Sacerio.
They Both Die at the End had been previously in development as a series at HBO with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot and The Other Two co-creator Chris Kelly.
The novel is a devastating yet uplifting story about two people whose lives change over the course of one unforgettable day. The book synopsis reads: On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.
They Both Die at the End, which made history as the first YA novel with queer Latinx characters to hit No. 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list, was a breakout when it was first published in 2017. The novel then experienced a resurgence during the pandemic and hit No. 1 again in April 2021 after it became a fixture under the TikTok hashtag #BookTok, propelling it to spend 15 consecutive months at #1 YA on the NY Times Best Seller list and become the #1 best-selling YA book of 2021.
Globally, the novel has surpassed the latest Twilight book as the #1 YA Best Seller in the UK and Australia. A prequel, The First To Die At the End,, was published Oct. 4, 2022, again hitting #1 on the NY Times Best Seller list, and has remained on the list for 13 consecutive weeks since its release.
Bad Bunny had a big 2022. His LP “Un Verano Sin Ti” was the most streamed album of the year, breaking several records, and the year-end No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Albums recap. He was the year’s top grossing touring act with 81 concerts culled from two separate tours, which each set a new record for the biggest Latin tour ever, and “Un Verano Sin Ti” became the first Spanish-language album to be nominated for album of the year at the Grammys.
As an actor, Bad Bunny will be seen in the Spider-Man universe for Sony/Marvel in his own standalone film, El Muerto. His credits also include Bullet Train, American Sole and Narcos: Mexico. He is repped by UTA and Rimas.
With Van Dusen at the helm, Bridgerton last spring became the only Netflix series to date to simultaneously hold both first and second place on the their Most Popular list with its first two seasons. The series has garnered multiple Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Drama for Season 1, as well as multiple SAG Award, TCA Award, and HCA nominations. Van Dusen’s series credits also include Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy. He is repped by Literate Management/Production and The Nord Group.
Yellowjackets, which Comins was instrumental in putting together and executive produces, has been a breakout hit for Showtime, with its freshman season ranking as the second-most streamed show in the network’s history and streaming viewership more than quadrupling over the course of the season.
In a big vote of confidence the series, which garnered seven Emmy nominations including Outstanding Drama, a Peabody Award Nomination, and a Critics Choice Award for its first season, was recently renewed for a third season ahead of its Season 2 premiere.
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