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We could have had a Song of Achilles adaptation from the Red, White & Royal Blue director

We could have had a Song of Achilles adaptation from the Red, White & Royal Blue director

Matthew Lopez American playwright and director book cover song of achilles
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SCAD; Ecco Press by HarperCollins

Unfortunately, the project isn't happening...

Matthew López's feature film directing debut, Red, White & Royal Blue, was one of the biggest hits for Amazon Prime Video last year, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean López has a blank check to do whatever he wants next.

In a new interview in the latest print edition of Variety, López talked about how he hoped that his follow up to Red, White and Royal Blue would be another book adaptation – a series based on Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles.

The Song of Achilles tells the story of the Trojan War through the lens of the romantic relationship between Achilles and Patroclus.

"There were weeks of researching the Trojan War. I was rereading The Iliad. I was conferring with Stephen Fry, who is a knowledgeable historian in his own right and has written a lot about the Trojan War," López said to Variety. "I wanted to take "Song of Achilles" and I wanted to make it huge. I wanted to do a multi-season arc."

However, the series never came to be, and López never got the full story why.

"If I am Madeline Miller and I have written a book as beloved as that, I would probably want to be pretty circumspect about what I did with it because you generally only get to do it once," he said.

"What Madeline has done so brilliantly in her book is it causes us to think about how much queer erasure has gone on in our history – recent and ancient," he said about his love for the book.

López says that while he knew Red, White & Royal Blue should be a movie, he doesn't think Achilles would work that way.

"When I looked at Achilles, I was like, 'Give me 40 hours of this,'" he said.

However, while he loves his RWRB stars Nicholas Galitzine and Tayor Zakhar Perez, he doesn't think they are right for this new story, which many people fancast them in.

"I'll be honest with you, I think that is the worst idea," he laughed. "Please add that I say that with a smile because I do. But Nick and Taylor are already young men. The Song of Achilles is about boys who are becoming young men. It's the crucible of that war that turns them into adults, and that's what is so exciting about the long-form journey of that."

Instead of Achilles, López is currently working on a RWRB sequel, which he is co-writing with book author Casey McQuiston.

While there are no plans right now for the book to be adapted, López isn't giving up hope. "You have to allow yourself to fall in love with the things that you won't actually do," he said. "It's the only way to really convince other people to give you the money to do them. The only way I knew how to approach Achilles was to start making the show in my head.

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Mey Rude

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.

Mey Rude is a journalist and cultural critic who has been covering queer news for a decade. The transgender, Latina lesbian lives in Los Angeles with her fiancée.