How ‘The In Between’ Writer Brought Suspense to a Love Story

Marc Klein wrote the book and screenplay for the supernatural romance at the same time


Joey King stars as a teenager dealing with young love and loss in the new Paramount+ original film “The In Between.” But this is no ordinary romance. Yes, it’s a film that explores first love, but it also explores a second chance courtesy of a supernatural twist.

Author Marc Klein based the idea on of the tragic death of an ex-girlfriend almost 15 years ago. Klein noticed certain events in the aftermath of her death that made him think she may have been trying to communicate with him, and that brought him to the research of the afterlife — also known as ADCs or After Death Communications. What started as a rough idea turned into both a book and a film. 

“I wrote a partial manuscript, about 100 pages. That was what was brought to Joey King, but I had already fleshed out what the rest of the book was going to be,” Klein said. “So I sort of had it as a movie pitch already. We brought that to Paramount. They hired me to write it and then I sort of went back and forth and was writing them at the same time, and they were informing each other.”

Director Arie Posin helped Klein develop both his book, which was published June 1, 2021, as well as the script, fleshing out the overall idea of the intertwined story. The crux of “The In Between” follows Tessa (King), a teenager recently released from the foster system, as she focuses on photography as a creative outlet.

“It was kind of a fascinating experience and a little stressful, obviously, because it was sort of two deadlines at the same time,” Klein continued. “But I think overall, being so completely 360 degree immersed in this story ended up having a benefit on both sides.”

The film splits the story down the middle, telling parts of it from before the pivotal plot point and parts from after. The ‘before’ section watches Tessa meet Skylar (Kyle Allen), a senior in high school from the neighboring town who offers to translate a French movie for her when they find themselves alone in the same theater.

“The brilliance in the script was that right from my first read, the movie was split into these two threaded together storylines, one being the love story, and one being the ghost story, and that made it completely unpredictable, you know, how it would end, which is a really difficult thing to do in a love story,” Posin said. “We usually have a sense that you know where it’s going, and for me right from the first read, I had no idea so the challenge for me was to retain that and not let that those edges get kind of filed down. And at the same time, make sure the audience is never confused.”

The meeting point of the two halves of the story involves Skylar’s tragic death in a car accident.

“Those two storylines feed each other, so each scene has to kind of feel like it belongs right where it is, coming off of what you’ve just seen and leading into what what’s coming next,” Posin added. “And yet they’re in two separate time periods. So that was the biggest challenge of the movie for sure, but also the biggest opportunity to give the audience that same experience of not knowing where you’re going.”

Posin also detailed the COVID restrictions that complicated filming. It took three years to complete the story and develop the film adaptation, and the movie was shot on location in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It just becomes a practical matter when you’re shooting, which is a certain room with a certain square footage can only fit a certain number of people. And if you have more characters written into that scene, you have to also account for the cameraman and the the boom operator,” he said. “So there were things we had to change based on we just literally couldn’t shoot in a room that size with the number of people we needed. We couldn’t shoot in a car that was moving because it would take four times as long because you weren’t allowed to put a camera man into a closed car with two actors, even with the mask on.” 

“The In Between” is now streaming exclusively on Paramount+.