EXCLUSIVE: The anticipation among the gazillions of fans wondering who’ll play the lead role of Tessa in the movie adaptation of Anna Todd’s YA publishing phenom After, is at an end. Deadline can reveal that the filmmakers have set Josephine Langford for the job.
After follows the journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening of Tessa (Langford), a dedicated student, dutiful daughter and loyal girlfriend to her high school sweetheart. When she enters her first year of university with grand ambitions for her future, her guarded world opens up when she meets the dark and mysterious Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a brooding rebel. Swen Temmel has also been set in the role of Jace.
Langford is the younger sister of Katherine Langford, star of the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. Hero Fiennes Tiffin is the nephew of actors Ralph and Joseph Fiennes. The book caught fire when Todd began publishing chapters of the first book in her After series on the fan fiction sharing site Wattpad. It was read so voraciously by readers around the globe that it crashed the site. That made the anticipation of this casting about as feverish as Bella (Kristen Stewart) in Twilight, or Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) in The Hunger Games.
After will begin shooting next week in Atlanta. The film is being directed by Jenny Gage (All This Panic) from a script by Susan McMartin, and produced by Courtney Solomon and Mark Canton of CalMaple Films, Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment, and Anna Todd and Aron Levitz from Wattpad. The exec producers are Nicolas Chartier, Jonathan Deckter, Meadow Williams, Swen Temmel, Adam Shankman and Scott Karol.
Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, has published five books in the series, which has sold tens of millions of copies in over 40 countries worldwide.
A domestic distribution deal is in the offing.
Said Langford: “I’m so excited to be joining After as Tessa and to be able to bring her character to life. After-nators have been waiting so patiently to see this story and I’m thrilled to be a part of telling it.”
Langford’s credits include Wish Upon and Wolf Creek. She is represented by Paradigm and Foundation Media Partners.