×

Netflix Adapting ‘13 Reasons Why’ Into Selena Gomez Series (EXCLUSIVE)

Netflix is in final negotiations to adapt the best-selling young adult novel “13 Reasons Why” as a 13-episode series with Selena Gomez set to exec produce, Variety has learned exclusively.

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.”

For Paramount, “13 Reasons Why” marks a continued effort into original series, joining projects including TNT’s “The Alienist” and EPIX’s “Berlin Station.”

“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.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Drops Trailer

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Drops Trailer for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician' (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix has drops the first trailer for “The Politician,” and “Killing Eve” adds two to its cast for season 3.  CASTING Harriet Walter and Danny Sapani, both alums of “The Crown,” are set to join the cast of “Killing Eve” for its third season. British writer Suzanne Heathcote, whose past credits include [...]

  • Lady Gaga

    Variety Earns 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie Award Nominations

    Variety has received 14 Folio: Eddie & Ozzie award nominations for its coverage of the entertainment industry over the past year. The awards gala, which will take place at The Hilton Midtown in New York City on Oct. 30, celebrates publications that have demonstrated impressive investigative journalism, in addition to thoughtful digital and print design. [...]

  • Disneyland

    Disney Shares Slip Amid Reported Whistleblower Allegations of Inflated Revenue

    Sandra Kuba, a former senior financial analyst for Disney’s revenue operations unit, says she has filed a series of whistleblower tips with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that the entertainment conglomerate repeatedly and systematically overstated its revenue for years, according to a MarketWatch report, by as much as $6 billion in a single [...]

  • Bob Bakish Joe Ianniello

    ViacomCBS Sets Board Members; Bob Bakish, Joe Ianniello New Deals Disclosed

    ViacomCBS has unveiled the 13 members of its board of directors and details of new employment contracts for president-CEO Bob Bakish and CBS chairman-CEO Joe Ianniello. The disclosure came Monday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, six days after Viacom and CBS at long last set an all-stock merger agreement valued at [...]

  • Carrie Underwood, left, and Reba McEntire

    CMAs Make Hosting Change: Brad Paisley Exits, Dolly Parton and Reba McEntire Are In

    The CMA Awards have had the most consistent hosting situation of any music awards show in television, but 11 years after installing Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood as the reliable faces of the telecast, even ABC and the Country Music Association have decided it’s time for a switch. Come Nov. 13, Underwood will return for [...]

  • Ava Max iHeartRadio Wango Tango, Portraits,

    Megan Thee Stallion, CNCO, Ava Max to Perform at VMAs Pre-show

    CNCO, Megan Thee Stallion and “Sweet but Psycho” singer Ava Max (pictured) have been added to the performer lineup at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards. The three will take the stage during the VMAs’ red carpet pre-show, hosted by Terrence J and Nessa. Zara Larsson will join the two hosts as a special correspondent. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content