‘Love, Simon’ Writer Becky Albertalli’s ‘The Upside of Unrequited’ to Be Adapted for Film (EXCLUSIVE)

'Love, Simon' Writer's ‘The Upside of Unrequited’ to Become Film
Credits: Photo courtesy of Decisive Moment Events, Book cover by Chris Bilheimer/Sarah Creech

U.K. production company Shakespeare Sisters has acquired the film rights to the popular YA novel “The Upside of Unrequited,” written by best-selling scribe Becky Albertalli. The author’s debut novel, “Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” was adapted as the gay teen romantic comedy movie “Love, Simon,” which – distributed by 20th Century Fox – grossed $66 million worldwide, and inspired the Hulu spin-off series “Love, Victor.”

The movie adaptation of “The Upside of Unrequited” will be written and directed by Hillary Shakespeare and Anna-Elizabeth Shakespeare, who are best known for their recent coming-of-age film “Soundtrack to Sixteen.” Albertalli also joins as executive producer on the feel-good summer romance.

The story centers on awkward 17-year-old Molly, who has had 26 crushes and exactly zero kisses. She’s sure love confessions can only go one way for weight-challenged girls: utter humiliation. Now that her twin Cassie is swept up in her first romance, Molly has never felt more alone. Finding a place in Cassie’s new world feels impossible, especially with her adorable co-worker Reid making things more confusing.

Since publishing “Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” Albertalli has written four more novels, of which “The Upside of Unrequited” is her second. Her latest, “Kate in Waiting,” will be released this month.

Albertalli said: “‘The Upside of Unrequited’ is so close to my heart, and I’m so happy and grateful this adaptation is in the hands of filmmakers who so deeply understand the complexity of love, longing, friendship, and sisterhood. The Shakespeare Sisters are masters of earnest, funny, heartfelt coming-of-age stories that never shy away from the beautiful messiness of love in all its forms. I can’t wait for my readers to fall in love with Molly in a whole new format, 27 times over.”

The Shakespeare Sisters added: “We instantly identified with Molly and Cassie and the push-pull relationship between the sisters. Becky explores the loneliness of being left behind for a romantic relationship so delicately and sympathetically, which creates a really interesting avenue for a rom-com while at the same time providing us with all the fun, nostalgia and anything’s possible feeling of first love.”

The Shakespeare Sisters are producing the time-travel comedy “The Unreason,” featuring Sophie Thompson and Tony Way, set to shoot this summer.

Albertalli is represented by Holly Root of Root Literary and UTA.

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Anna-Elizabeth Shakespeare, Hillary Shakespeare Courtesy of Adam Czarnowski