Exclusive: 'Love, Simon' Disney+ Series Will Focus On Two New Characters Not In The Movie

Love, Simon was the high school romantic comedy that critics and audiences both adored last year. The film focused on Jurassic World star Nick Robinson as a closeted gay high school kid who suddenly starts e-mailing with an anonymous fellow closeted classmate, striking up a romance as pen pals. But that spark is threatened when Simon is suddenly forced to be outed by another classmate who accidentally learns about his secret.

As the first popular, studio-sanctioned gay teen romantic comedy, the movie was a smashing success, and that's what made The Walt Disney Company want to take the valuable Fox 2000 property and turn it into a TV series for Disney+. However, the Love Simon TV series won't be focusing on the same main character from the movie. Instead, it will follow two new characters and their blossoming romance in high school.

Casting is currently underway for the Love, Simon series at Disney+, and the series lead is meant to be a Latin teenage boy named Victor. He's described as "closeted, really cute, athletic, well-liked, and warm-hearted." He's also a high school soccer star. Aside from the fact that this character isn't named Simon, that's a remarkably different character from the original movie.

Meanwhile, Victor's love interest is a fellow teenage boy named Benji, and the casting net for this one is looking for someone of any ethnicity. Benji is described as being totally at ease with being out of the closet. He's a "super-cute hipster dreamboat with perfectly messy hair and perfectly ripped jeans." He's also said to be so dreamy that it looks like he's moving in slow-motion. And unlike Victor, the casting call is specifically looking for someone who is legitimately gay, bisexual, pansexual or sexually fluid.

While I'm all for seeing a Love, Simon TV series, it does seem rather odd that the title is being used without bringing back any of the characters from the original movie. Then again, maybe the movie does take place adjacent to the story of Simon in the same high school. There's also a chance the story unfolds a couple years after the events of the movie, and it might be referenced in some way.

Initially, the Love, Simon TV series was said to be an adaptation of the book Leah on the Offbeat, a sequel to Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, the original book on which the movie was based. The sequel follows Simon's best friend Leah (played by Katherine Langford in the movie) as she attempts to deal with various personal issues including friendships and relationships, body image, sexuality, self-esteem, going to college and feeling like an outsider. We're not sure if that's another show still in development for Disney+ or not, but it's certainly not the series that's currently being cast.

At the very least, seeing Love, Simon play out with a Latin lead sounds like a great way to make this story even more inclusive in Hollywood's representation of high school romance. It remains to be seen if the story will fold out in a similar way, or how the series will be fleshed out beyond a movie's running time, but we're certainly interested to see how it turns out.