Tony Winner Matthew López to Make Directorial Debut With LGBTQ+ Romance ‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Matthew López, who made history on Sunday as the first Latiné playwright to win the Tony Award for best play, will have his feature directorial debut with the LGBTQ+ romantic comedy “Red, White & Royal Blue.” The Amazon Studios production is an adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 best-seller of the same name. It centers on a star-crossed power couple — the Latiné character of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the president of the United States, and his relationship with Prince Henry, grandson of the Queen of England.
López rewrote a draft of the script by Ted Malawer (“Halston”) in addition to being tapped to direct the film. Here’s the official logline: “What happens when America’s Prince falls in love with an actual prince? The film follows Alex Claremont-Diaz who, upon his mother’s election as president, was 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. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex-Henry altercation, 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, Instagram-able 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, upend two nations and begs the question: Can love save the world after all?”
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The Tony winner has a busy dance card. He’s penning a remake of “The Bodyguard” for Warner Bros., collaborating with songwriting duo Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman and Amber Ruffin on a musical-adaptation of “Some Like it Hot,” and scripting a feature film adaptation of the novel “Leading Men,” which centers on the relationship between Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner Frank Merlo.
Producers for “Red, White & Royal Blue” include Berlanti/Schechter Films’ Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, with Michael McGrath executive producing. López will also executive produce.
“The Inheritance,” a two-part epic about the AIDS crisis, is set to make its Los Angeles premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in 2022. In New York, López’s work has been seen Off Broadway with “The Whipping Man “(Manhattan Theatre Club), and “The Legend of Georgia McBride” (MCC Theater). He previously signed an overall television development deal with Amazon Studios in October of last year.
McQuiston is a New York Times bestselling author of queer adult and young adult romcoms, including”One Last Stop” and the forthcoming “I Kissed Shara Wheeler.”
Berlanti/Schechter Films recently wrapped production on Amazon’s “My Policeman” directed by Michael Grandage, starring Harry Styles and Emma Corrin, and Chris Winterbauer’s “Moonshot” starring Lana Condor, Cole Sprouse and Zach Braff.
López is represented by CAA, Grandview, and Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. McQuiston is represented by Sara Megibow of KT Literary and UTA.
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