Yes, it’s true! Something Like Summer is becoming a movie. Producer Tom Ly approached me a few months back, smoothed talked me into giving him the film rights and then wrangled up some of the best talent in gay cinema. I had the honor of speaking with many amazing directors, and like puppies, I wanted to take them all home with me. Choosing felt impossible, so I watched and rewatched their films. There was one—Judas Kiss—that to me feels like the future of gay cinema. Not only is Judas Kiss fresh and new, but the cinematography and quality of directing is worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster. I’m absolutely thrilled that the talent behind Judas Kiss has agreed to transform Something Like Summer from ye olde fashioned text to glorious moving pictures! The road from script to screen is a long one, but if you want a hint of what Something Like Summer will be like as a film, I urge you to check out Judas Kiss. I know I’ll be celebrating this news by watching it again tonight!
Here’s the official Something Like Summer movie press release:
‘Judas Kiss’ Director, Producer Re-Team for ‘Something Like Summer’ Adaptation
SEATTLE — The makers of this year’s acclaimed scifi fantasy, “Judas Kiss,” are teaming with Seattle-based Jade Knight Productions to adapt the bestselling coming-of-age love story, “Something Like Summer,” for the screen.
The new project will be helmed by director J.T. Tepnapa, with screenwriter Carlos Pedraza penning the screenplay, based on the book by author Jay Bell. Tepnapa’s and Pedraza’s Los Angeles-based company, Blue Seraph Productions is a co-production partner.
“I’m honored that Jay Bell and producer Tom Ly have asked Blue Seraph Productions to turn the critically acclaimed novel into a movie,” Tepnapa said. “The life of the main character, Ben, mirrors so many moments in my own life, I cannot help but want to treat his own journey with care. I love this story, and I want to see it come to life.”
“Something Like Summer” traces the tumultuous relationship of Ben and Tim, secret high school sweethearts who grow over the years into both adulthood enemies and complicated friends.
The novel is Bell’s second and most acclaimed, earning a spot in Amazon’s Best Books of 2011 list, with a customer rating of 4.7 out of 5, and outstanding reader reviews on the popular literary site Goodreads.
Queer Magazine Online said the novel “not only has lots of passion, humor, angst and twists and turns, it also takes an in-depth look at how the choices we make in life affect not only ourselves, but everyone around us.” The Alpha Reader review commented: “Jay Bell has written one of the most heartfelt and sincere romances I have ever encountered.”
The book was optioned by Jade Knight Productions of Seattle and producer Tom Ly. With Blue Seraph Productions on board, the project moves into development immediately.
“We are on track to have the screenplay ready by Spring 2012,” screenwriter and co-producer Pedraza said. “J.T. and I are looking forward to translating the magic of this story from page to screen.”
“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to work with J.T. and Carlos,” Ly said. “I was so impressed by what they accomplished with ‘Judas Kiss.’ I know they’ll take us to the next level with ‘Something Like Summer.’”
Author Bell had similar praise for “Judas Kiss”: “I was blown away after seeing the film in Germany this year. My heart was pounding when I left the theatre and I knew that this was the right creative team for a ‘Something Like Summer’ movie. Ben, Tim, and Jace are in very safe hands, and I can’t wait to see them on the big screen.”
“Something Like Summer” will be Tepnapa’s and Pedraza’s second feature film, following quickly on the heels of their debut, “Judas Kiss,” the genre-bending scifi fantasy released in 2011, garnering critical acclaim and multiple awards from film festivals around the world. The film is in distribution worldwide, and continues at the top of the sales charts in its genre.
Blue Seraph Productions is a Los Angeles company headed by Tepnapa and Pedraza. Their work has been featured in the New York Times, BBC, Variety, The Advocate, Edge Magazine, ATV Network, Frontiers, Fab magazine, the Today Show, MSNBC, and other international news outlets.