“Freaking Romance” Film Adaptation in the Works

Wattpad WEBTOON Studios, the studio and IP leg of WEBTOON, announced today that they have teamed up with Skybound Entertainment, creator-led and multiplatform entertainment company (The Walking Dead, Invincible), to produce a film adaptation of the hugely popular Freaking Romance webcomic.

Freaking Romance, by Snailords, launched in 2018 and boasts more than 468 million global views. It is one of the many WEBTOONs that has been given the graphic novel treatment. WEBTOON Unscrolled released the first volume in September 2023, and volume 2 is set to release in June 2024.

The film will follow the story of Lily (Zylith in the webcomic). Determined to not rely on her wealthy father, Lily strikes out on her own and moves into the only place she can afford, which is apparently haunted. However, she soon discovers that the ghost in her apartment isn’t a ghost at all – he’s simply existing in a parallel dimension. (He’s also extremely attractive.)

Two-time Black List finalists Matthew Kic and Mike Sorce will write the script. Aron Levitz (After), David Madden, and Jason Goldberg will produce for Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), David Alpert, and Rick Jacobs will produce from Skybound, with Fred D. Lee overseeing production.

Freaking Romance is the type of creative, memorable and special story that a studio always hopes to produce,” said David Madden, Head of Global Entertainment for Wattpad WEBTOON Studios. “We know that Snailords and their devoted fanbase will be expecting a lot from us in this adaptation, and we’re honored to work with Skybound, one of the industry’s most-acclaimed creators of sci-fi and supernatural entertainment, to make the incredible film that this supernatural love story deserves.” 

As avid fans of vertical scrolling comics, we have been dying to get in business with Wattpad WEBTOON, and Freaking Romance has everything we love about the medium: beautiful artwork, unexpected plot twists, and of course sci-fi and the supernatural elements,” said Rick Jacobs, Managing Partner of Linear Content, Skybound Entertainment. “We’re thrilled to partner with Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and can’t wait to bring the panels to life for this film.”

“I started working with WEBTOON after entering into one of their contests while I was in college, and I could never have imagined that one day that relationship would end up with me having my very own film adaptation,” said Snailords. “Creating original stories is my passion in life, and I am grateful to my incredible audience for supporting me and being with me every step of the way. I’m excited for Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and Skybound to take my storytelling to a place it hasn’t been before – the movies!” 

Wattpad WEBTOON Studios currently has multiple projects in development or production around the world, primarily in fantasy, sci-fi, and romance. One of the projects I am most excited about is the animated adaptation of Lore Olympus, which is being developed with The Jim Henson Company. (Good to know that is still a thing! I feel like it’s been 84 years since we heard any news about it. I know these things take time but I’m not the most patient person!)

Some other projects currently in development from Wattpad WEBTOON Studios are HAWK with MCU screenwriter Christopher Yost , a film based on the popular sci-fi Wattpad webnovel Chasing Red), A. Rasen’s nightmare-filled WEBTOON hit Gremoryland, and T.L. Bodine’s supernatural thriller The Hound. 

Skybound is, of course, renowned for its television series, primarily The Walking Dead and Invincible, which are both based on Skybound comics. Other Skybound projects currently in development include VAKA, a Nordic post-pandemic thriller created by Brynja Bjork; Dime Tu Nombre, a Spanish language horror series about an Imam and a Catholic priest who work together to save a local boy from possession; and Heart Attack, a live-action dystopian drama about love and deprivation co-produced by Fuji TV.

In a pop culture landscape saturated with sequels and reboots, I am glad to see that some studios are choosing to search out new IPs to be adapted. It’s essentially the same thing as getting something truly original. Plus, I have a lot of WEBTOONs that I want to see on my TV screen – either in live action or animated form – so I hope that this film does well. I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for it!

source: press release

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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