LGBTQ+ Teen Rom-Com 'My Fake Boyfriend' Casts Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, And Sarah Hyland

As if the lack of romantic comedies isn't distressing enough, the few we get have a tendency to be overwhelmingly straight. Even when they aren't, they often throw their queer characters into the background, with squint-and-you-miss-it storylines. But every now and again, studios take a step in the right direction and give the people what they want. Today, there happens to be two of them:  teaming up for another production, Buzzfeed and Lionsgate are co-producing the LGBTQ+ teen rom-com, My Fake Boyfriend.

Deadline reports that Keiynan Lonsdale, Dylan Sprouse, and Sarah Hyland have been cast in leading roles. As for the plot — you can probably guess the big details front the title alone. The story follows a teen (Lonsdale) who takes the advice of his best friend (Sprouse) to create a fake, social media boyfriend. For a while, it works wonders to keep his ex-boyfriend out of his hair but when he meets the actual love of his life, it means trouble. Cue the dramatic odyssey of breaking up with a person that doesn't actually exist.

The true romance behind the production is between Lionsgate and Buzzfeed, whose continued partnership aims to "develop, produce and distribute socially relevant feature films with the aim of targeting millennial and Gen Z audiences." This film will be the second they make in collaboration, the first being the Kyle Newman directed 1Up about a young woman who quits her college esports team after becoming fed up with her male teammates.

They might be onto something here — nothing screams youth quite like esports and fake dating schemes. In fact, there might be a way to tie these films into the same cursed teen cinematic universe...

The Voices Behind the Project

Dylan Sprouse is probably best known for his titular role in the Disney series The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. But it's been many moons since his child star days and Sprouse has since gone on to more mature ventures, including the WattPad produced After We Collided, which is set to be a trilogy with two sequels in production. Sprouse also starred in the Christian Coppola short film Daddy, where he plays a male escort, and everything is amazing. If his work on that project is any indication of how much fun Sprouse can have with a role, My Fake Boyfriend will be a delightful surprise.

His co-star Keiynan Lonsdale might be familiar as Wally West on The CW Flash series, or for the role of Bran in Greg Berlanti's LGBTQ+ rom-com Love, Simon. He's since reprised the role on the movie's Hulu spinoff, Love, Victor. The Australian actor also has a thriving music career and his recent work in the Netflix jukebox musical Work It allowed him to show off some exciting choreography.

The series will be directed by Rose Troche, which Lionsgate expressed their excitement about in the official announcement. The studio said:

"There is no better person to tell this queer love story than Rose Troche, and we're delighted to partner with Lionsgate to share this story with millennial and Gen Z audiences around the world."

Their praise is for good reason — Troche's previous directing credits include multiple episodes of the groundbreaking Showtime series The L Word. She's also worked on more recently beloved series, including Six Feet Under, Ugly Betty, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist, All American, and Black Lightning.