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EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment is partnering with Wattpad Webtoon Studios to develop a feature adaptation of Love advice from the Grand Duke of Hellthe hit comic from the creator known as Unfins, which has so far received more than 160 million views on the digital comic publishing platform, Webtoon.
Attached to the script for the live-action shoot is Cody Blue Snider, a veteran of the commercial and music video worlds best known for his award-winning shorts All that’s left and Fool’s Day. Imagine will produce alongside Wattpad Webtoon Studios, with Karen Lunder and Allan Mandelbaum overseeing for Imagine, and Aron Levitz, David Madden and Lindsey Weems Ramey overseeing Wattpad Webtoon.
Unfins’ Ringo Award-nominated comic tells the story of Paul, an unhappy high school student who is madly in love with the “next door.” After mistakenly summoning the Grand Duke of Hell, Astaroth, Paul offers his soul in return to win the heart of his love interest. But unfortunately, Astaroth turns out to be as ignorant as Paul in the art of love.
In a joint statement, Imagine Features President Lunder and Senior Vice President Mandelbaum called Love advice “a bold and irresistible take on the romantic comedy that is both nostalgic and truly original.” The couple added that they are “thrilled to join forces with Cody Blue Snider and the team at Wattpad WEBTOON Studios to bring this story and Cody’s unique vision to audiences everywhere.”
Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ Head of Global Film, Lindsey Weems Ramey, emphasized the comic’s appeal as “a truly unique story with subversive dark humor and a surprisingly sweet romance at its heart.” The director continued: “This charming, twisted rom-com is unlike any other, and fans all over the world have fallen in love with this story about the most unlikely love expert. This story needs a world-class creative team, so we are thrilled to working with the team at Imagine and Cody Blue Snider to bring Astaroth and the rest of these unforgettable characters to life.”
Imagine, which recently closed an exclusive multi-year first-look film deal with Amazon Studios, heads into this year’s Emmys with 14 nominations for projects, including Judy Blume forever, Fire Island, The two others, Mrs. The Pat Show, Bono & The Edge: A Homecoming of sorts with Dave Letterman, My next guest needs no introduction with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Light and magicand Emily in Paris. Recent releases from the company include the Apple TV+ dramedy The beanie bubble and the documentaries Super models, made for the same streamer. Among its projects coming from the release is the Eddie Murphy holiday comedy Candy Cane Lane on Prime Video, Apple TV+ docu-series The dynasty: New England Patriotsand an untitled doc about Muppets creator Jim Henson.
The fan-driven global entertainment and publishing arm of online publishers Wattpad and Webtoon, which as of July had a combined audience of more than 182 million, Wattpad Webtoon Studios brings together technology, a diverse new generation of creators and passionate global fandoms to create data-driven, audience-driven television shows, movies and books. Currently, the company has more than 100 film and television projects in development or production around the world. Among them are Hawk, with MCU writer Christopher Yost, based on the sci-fi Wattpad web novel; A. Race Gremoryland with Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment; Deanna Cameron’s web novel thriller What happened that nightadapted by Children of men‘s David Arata; and TL Bodine’s supernatural thriller The dogadapted by Angela LaManna (Raised by Wolves). Wattpad Webtoon is also developing an animated series based on the Webtoon sensation Lore Olympuswhich has amassed more than 1.5 billion views to date.