Based on the 2007 novel of the same name from author Jay Asher, “13 Reasons Why” tells the stories of the late Hannah Baker, a high school student who committed suicide.
The story will follow a boy named Clay through an emotional night when he receives a shoe box of cassette tapes from his late classmate and crush Hannah, after she recently committed suicide. On the tapes, which are mailed with instructions to pass along from one student to another, Hannah explains to twelve peers how they each played a role in her death, by giving thirteen reasons explaining why she took her life.
The project hails from Anonymous Content and Paramount TV with a pilot penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Brian Yorkey.
Before landing at Netflix as a series — which has been in talks at the streaming service for over one year — “13 Reasons Why” had been in development as a feature film at Universal.
After reading the book, Gomez, along with her mother Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin, brought the book to Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation. The trio of ladies will all exec produce, with Teefey producing through her Kicked to the Curb shingle, along with Joy Gorman Wettels of Anonymous with Michael Sugar and Steve Golin, who will also serve as non-writing exec producers.
“13 Reasons Why” marks Gomez’s first major exec producing credit, though she did serve as an EP on Disney Channel’s “Wizards of Waverly Place” TV movie, “The Wizards Return: Alex vs. Alex” in 2013. Gomez got her start on “Barney & Friends” and rose to fame on Disney’s “Wizards of Waverly Place,” on which she starred for its four-season run.
The multi-hyphenate social media maven, who has over 47 million Instagram followers and over 30M on Twitter, recently released her second solo album “Revival” off the heels of her platinum single “Good For You.” She lent her voice to Adam Sandler’s animated “Hotel Transylvania” and its sequel, plus had starring roles in “Rudderless,” alongside William H. Macy, “Spring Breakers” with James Franco and the 2011 rom-com “Monte Carlo.” She also joined Season 9 of “The Voice” as Gwen Stefani’s team adviser and appeared in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video. Coming up, Gomez will star in “Neighbors 2,” the follow-up to Zac Efron and Seth Rogen’s 2014 hit film.
Yorkey, who will continue as writer on the full Netflix miniseries, won three Tony Awards for his 2010 rock musical “Next To Normal.”
“13 Reasons Why” was published by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Group, and has been on the New York Times bestseller list for eight years straight, being printed in 35 languages. The book inspired the Thirteen Reasons Why Project, an online community where readers can share their reactions to the story, in an effort to spread the discussion on teen suicide and bullying prevention.