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EXCLUSIVE: Stampede Ventures and Wattpad Webtoon Studios will team for a feature adaptation of Chasing Red, the YA romance webnovel by Isabelle Ronin that has garnered huge attention on the digital publishing platform, Wattpad.
Jessika Borsiczky (Sex/Life) has been set to direct from a screenplay by Lauren Schacher (Hooking Up), and casting is now underway.
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Chasing Red tells the story of straight-A student Veronica, who refuses to be college heartthrob Caleb’s next “conquest,” even after a chance encounter sparks an undeniable attraction between them. But with nowhere to stay and on the run from a recent tragedy, Veronica finds herself in need of Caleb’s help, despite the secrets of their pasts threatening to tear them apart. Wattpad’s #2 English-language property, following the massively popular After series from Anna Todd, the webnovel has garnered over 260 million reads since its publication in 2017. It’s been published in print in seven languages, and has also been adapted into a Webtoon webcomic with over 6.9M views and new chapters debuting weekly.
Producers on the feature take include Stampede Ventures’ Greg Silverman and Jon Berg, as well as Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ Aron Levitz and Lindsey Weems Ramey. Exec producers include Gideon Yu, Chris Bosco, Mike Tadross, and Grant Torre from Stampede and David Madden from Wattpad Webtoon.
Said Stampede Ventures’ Berg on behalf of the company, “We are thrilled to be making a movie from Isabelle’s wildly popular book series. Chasing Red has a passionate global fandom, with over 260 million reads online. With the incredibly talented Jessika Borsiczky, we’re going to make a sexy and vibrant film bringing Red and Caleb into real life from the page!”
Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ Head of Global Entertainment, Madden, said that given Chasing Red‘s extraordinary popularity over the years on Wattpad, “the fact that we were able to adapt it first into a Webtoon webcomic and now into a live-action film is a perfect example of our mission to help our creators like Isabelle build franchises and fandoms across formats.” The exec added that his company is “thrilled to work with the excellent producing team at Stampede Ventures,” also noting that “Jessika is both an old friend and a sensitive and passionate director. Romance on screens has never been bigger, and this adaptation will be exactly what romance lovers are clamoring for.”
Best known for directing and exec producing the Netflix series Sex/Life starring Sarah Shahi, Borsiczky has also fulfilled those duties on shows including Lifetime’s UnREAL and Showtime’s House of Lies. She wrote on and exec produced Peacock’s Renée Zellweger true crime vehicle The Thing About Pam and has also helmed episodes of shows like Lucifer and Cloak & Dagger.
Most recently seeing the release of projects including the MTV Studios-acquired YA feature Pink Skies Ahead starring Jessica Barden, as well as the Netflix doc The Saint of Second Chances from Morgan Neville and Jeff Malmberg, Stampede’s next film on the docket is Ordinary Angels, the true-life drama starring Hilary Swank and Alan Ritchson that will be released by Lionsgate on February 23. The company will next year release its Emma Roberts rom-com Space Cadet through Amazon Prime International and is currently in production on Anderson .Paak’s directorial debut K-Pops!.
Wattpad Webtoon Studios is the fan-driven global entertainment and publishing arm for online publishers Wattpad and Webtoon, which as of July had a combined audience of more than 182 million. Current projects in the works there include an animated series based on the Webtoon sensation Lore Olympus, which has amassed more than 1.5 billion views to date, with The Jim Henson Company; an adaptation of the Webtoon comic Love Advice from the Great Duke of Hell with Imagine Entertainment; Hawk, with MCU scribe Christopher Yost, based on the sci-fi Wattpad webnovel; Deanna Cameron’s webnovel thriller What Happened That Night, adapted by Children of Men‘s David Arata; and Float, starring Robbie Amell and Andrea Bang, with Lionsgate, Collective Pictures, and Brightlight Pictures.
Borsiczky is represented by A3 Artists Agency, manager Rick Lefitz, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Schacher by Artists First and Goodman, Genow, Schenkman.
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