Taylor Zakhar Perez (The Kissing Booth 2 & 3) and Nicholas Galitzine (Cinderella) have been tapped to lead Prime Video’s romantic comedy Red, White & Royal Blue, based on Casey McQuiston’s bestselling novel of the same name. Tony Award-winning playwright Matthew López (The Inheritance) will direct, in his feature debut, with Clifton Collins Jr. (Westworld), Stephen Fry (The Dropout) and Sarah Shahi (Sex/Life) also aboard to star.
Red, White & Royal Blue follows the Mexican-American character Alex Claremont-Diaz (Perez) who, upon his mother’s election as President, is promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, brilliant―his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a long-running feud with his royal counterpart across the pond, Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine). And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an altercation between the two, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.
Heads of family, state, and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: staging a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instragramable friendship grows into something more meaningful than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could complicate his mother’s re-election campaign and upend two nations, and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?
In addition to being an instant New York Times and USA Today bestseller, McQuiston’s book was a Goodreads Choice Award Winner for “Best Debut” and “Best Romance of 2019.” It was also named “Best Book of the Year” by Vogue, NPR, Vanity Fair and more. Ted Malawer penned an early draft of the script, with López later adapting McQuiston’s novel for the big screen. The film will also star Rachel Hilson (Winning Time), Ellie Bamber (The Serpent), Aneesh Sheth (A Kid Like Jake), Polo Morin (Who Killed Sara?), Ahmed Elhaj (Dangerous Liaisons) and Akshay Khanna (Polite Society). Berlanti/Schechter Films’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter will produce, with Michael McGrath, López and McQuiston serving as executive producers.
Production on Red, White & Royal Blue begins in the UK this month. The film, from Amazon Studios and Berlanti/Schechter Films, will premiere on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide.
“It has been a thrill to hand this story over to Berlanti/Schechter, Amazon, and our fearless leader Matthew López and watch them make so many smart, bold, thoughtful choices to bring it to life,” said McQuiston. “This casting is no exception. I absolutely can’t wait to see Taylor and Nicholas on screen as Alex and Henry.”
“Meeting with and auditioning literally hundreds of actors over these past several months has been a painstaking labor of love that has brought us this diverse and extraordinary cast, led so fantastically by Nick and Taylor,” added López. “I cannot wait for the fans of the book (and indeed for the world) to find out how remarkably gifted and perfect these two actors are for bringing Henry and Alex to life.”
Perez is perhaps best known for his turn as Marco in the second and third installments of The Kissing Booth franchise. He was most recently seen in HBO Max’s acclaimed series Minx, opposite Ophelia Lovibond, and will next be seen in Prime Video’s 1Up.
Galitzine will next be seen as the male lead in Netflix’s Purple Hearts, alongside Sofia Carson. He also recently starred as Prince Robert in Cinderella for Prime Video, opposite Camila Cabello. Prior to that, he starred as the male lead in Zoe Lister-Jones’ The Craft: Legacy. On the television side, he can be seen in Netflix’s Chambers. Additional credits include Share, Handsome Devil, The Beat Beneath My Feet, The Changeover and The Watcher in the Woods.
Collins is an Emmy nominee best known for his roles in HBO’s Westworld, Star Trek, Pacific Rim and Capote. He recently starred in Sony Pictures Classics’ Jockey, for which he won Best Actor at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for Best Male Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards, along with A24’s After Yang and Searchlight Pictures’ Nightmare Alley. Up next, he will be seen in MGM’s Landscape with Invisible Hand and Renny Harlin’s The Bricklayer.
Fry is a SAG Award winner whose recent credits include The Dropout for Hulu, It’s a Sin for C4/HBO Max, and the upcoming series The Sandman for Netflix.
Shahi will next be seen starring alongside Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and an all-star cast in the Warner Bros. feature, Black Adam. She recently wrapped production on the second season of Netflix’s Sex/Life, and is also known for her work on Showtime’s City on a Hill. Additional credits include series regular roles on The L Word, The Rookie, Person of Interest and USA’s Fairly Legal.
Berlanti/Schechter Films is a production company founded by Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated writer, director, and producer Greg Berlanti and his producing partner, Emmy and PGA nominee Sarah Schechter. The company recently wrapped production on Michael Grandage’s Amazon film My Policeman, based on the novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, which stars Harry Styles and Emma Corrin. It is also currently in pre-production on Netflix’s Atlas with Jennifer Lopez.
Perez is repped by Hyperion and Felker Toczek Suddleson; Galitzine by Curtis Brown Group in the UK, WME, Anonymous Content and Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole; Collins by CAA, Mgmt Entertainment and Yorn, Levine, Barnes; Fry by Hamilton Hodell in the UK and ICM Partners; Shahi by CAA and AFA Prime Talent Media; and López by CAA, Grandview and Gang, Tyre, Ramer.