Netflix revealed the cast for their live-action adaptation of Alice Oseman’s gay coming-of-age graphic novel Heartstopper. Newcomer Joe Locke joins Kit Connor (His Dark Material) in the roles of Charlie Spring and Nick Nelson, students at an all-boys grammar school in Britain, who discover they have feelings for each other.
“This is a story that deserves to be told,” Alexi Wheeler, director, kids & family content, for Netflix, said in a statement announcing the 30-minute series, adding the streamer “cares deeply that all young people see themselves reflected in our content, and are hopeful that many people, whatever their age or identity, will see themselves in this bold and uplifting series.”
Oseman first introduced rugby star Nelson and Spring as side characters in her 2014 novel Solitaire, but found them so personally intriguing she created a thrice-monthly web comic to explore their experiences. The characters now also have their own book series with a fourth volume due out in May. Oseman said she wanted to tell the story of two young teens discovering themselves and falling in love that didn’t center around trauma or tragedy.
“Nick and Charlie have existed as characters for almost a decade, and are two of my most beloved characters, so I was slightly apprehensive about the casting search, but I am so happy and excited that we’ve cast Kit and Joe,” Oseman said in a statement announcing the casting. “They’re both so talented, sweet, funny, and smart, and so perfect. It has been such fun getting to know them and welcoming them into the Heartstopper universe, and I can’t wait to see them bring the characters to life on screen.”
Heartstopper will be produced by See-Saw Films, with Euros Lyn of Sherlock and Doctor Who signed on to direct. The show is currently in production until this summer, with no release date announced.