to all the boys i've loved before sequel director

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before became one of Netflix’s biggest hits last year, shepherded by director Susan Johnson, who leant a playfulness and a surprising visual panache to the teen romantic comedy based on the novels by Jenny Han. But for the highly anticipated sequel, which will adapt Han’s follow-up novel P.S. I Still Love You, the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel director will now be cinematographer Michael Fimognari.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Michael Fimognari, who was the director of photography on the first To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, will take over directing duties from Johnson, who now acts as executive producer. The reason, Johnson said in a statement, was due to prior commitments:

“Directing To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been one of the great experiences of my life, and I am grateful to the fans for their passionate support of the film. Due to the timing of my other projects I won’t be directing the sequel, but as an executive producer, I am looking forward to continuing to share Lara Jean’s story and being part of this franchise.”

Han added, “I’m so thrilled and thankful we get to keep telling Lara Jean’s story. I just know that the audience will fall in love with her all over again.”

However, the cast will stay the same, with stars Lana Condor and Noah Centineo confirmed to reprise their roles as the adorable accidentally-in-love couple Lara Jean Covey and Peter Kavinsky, along with Anna Cathcart, Janel Parrish, and John CorbettTo All the Boys I’ve Loved Before screenwriter Sofia Alvarez will also return to pen the sequel.

While hiring Fimognari, who makes his directorial debut with this film, keeps the sequel in the family, this move is unfortunately part of an industry-wide practice of female directors getting the shaft after kickstarting a hit franchise geared towards women. It happened with the Twilight franchise, which got off to a $393 million start under Catherine Hardwicke, who subsequently got replaced by directors like Chris Weitz and Bill Condon for the following films. It happened again for the Fifty Shades series, in which Sam Taylor-Johnson helmed Fifty Shades of Grey to the tune of $571 million worldwide only to be replaced by James Foley for the next two films. While Johnson seems to be stepping down from the director’s chair due to scheduling issues, it does get this highly anticipated sequel to a beloved teen romance film off to a shaky start.

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