EXCLUSIVE: YouTube has given a pilot order to The Edge of Seventeen, a half-hour comedy pilot from STXtv, based on the 2016 critically praised film of the same name.
Annabel Oakes (Transparent, Atypical) is writing and directing the pilot, which will be executive produced by the film’s writer-director, Kelly Fremon Craig. Filming is slated to begin in January 2019.
The adaptation is described as a witty coming of age series, which, in the spirit of the film, will subvert standard teen show tropes while following a high-school student and her best friend as they navigate the relationships, feelings, and realities of being a teenage girl.
This will not be a straight remake or sequel to the feature from Robert Simonds’ STX Entertainment. It will tell new stories borrowing the tone of the film and its commitment to capturing the teen age truthfully, in the vein of Fargo FX anthology series’ interpretation of the acclaimed movie.
I hear It was STX’s idea to try and bring The Edge of Seventeen to television, with Oakes, a fan of the movie, quickly emerging as the right person to spearhead the adaptation.
“Annabel is an extraordinary writer with a voice like nobody else’s. She’s created a new set of characters so full of truth, humor, and specificity, I’ve fallen completely in love with them,” said Craig. “For all of the reasons she makes an exceptional writer, she will make an exceptional director. I couldn’t be more thrilled to support her talent and help her bring this to life.”
This marks the latest pilot/series from a female creative team at YouTube, something that the company’s head of original content Susanne Daniels has been passionate about. The list includes Origin, from creator Mika Watkins; Impulse, with Lauren LeFranc as showrunner/executive producer; Step Up, from creator/showrunner Holly Sorensen; On Becoming A God In Central Floria, with Esta Spalding as showrunner/executive producer; This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous, directed by Barbara Kopple; Sideswiped, from creators/showrunners Carly Craig & Robin Schiff; and Spanish-language SobreVivi, created and starring Sofia Nino de Rivera.
“Annabel took inspiration from The Edge Of Seventeen and wrote an incredible script that is wholly her own, so when Kelly came to us about Annabel directing the pilot it just made sense,” said Dustin Davis, Head of Comedy, YouTube Originals. “YouTube is a platform made for new creators and voices, so it’s always been a natural direction for us to champion new voices in our scripted programming. We’re excited to have Annabel execute her vision from start to finish.”
The Edge of Seventeen film, written and directed by Craig, starred Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Kyra Sedgwick, and Haley Lu Richardson. It premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival and was theatrically released in November 18, 2016 by STXfilms to positive reviews, grossing almost $19 million on a $9 million budget.
“Annabel has written a hilarious and whip smart pilot for The Edge of Seventeen, so having her also direct and translate her words from the page to the screen felt like the natural next step,” said Jada Miranda, EVP and Head of Scripted TV at STX Entertainment. “Annabel is a tremendous talent, and along with Kelly, has created a wildly entertaining coming-of-age story that honors the spirit of STXfilms’ original film, while giving audiences a fresh take on the funny, challenging and completely messy life of a modern teenage girl.”
In addition to The Edge Of Seventeen, STXtv just received a six-episode series order from Netflix for Ottoman Rising, a hybrid docu-drama miniseries that tells the epic story of Mehmed II. The company also has a script-to-series order from Amazon Studios for a new drama series from Kevin Kwan, the best-selling author of the Crazy Rich Asians franchise, and has two upcoming series, Valley of the Boom, a six-part limited series premiering in January 2019 on National Geographic Channel, and UglyDolls, an animated kids series based on STX’s animated franchise, for Hulu.
Oakes and Fremon Craig are repped by UTA and Kaplan Perrone.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.