Like Zoe Kravitz’s “High Fidelity” remake, “Love, Victor” was deemed more on-brand for Hulu than Disney’s family-focused platform
“Love, Victor,” the upcoming TV series spinoff of the 2018 feature film “Love, Simon,” shifted from its original home at Disney+ over to Hulu on Monday, marking the second time a show initially set up at Disney’s family-oriented streaming service jumped to its less-family-oriented sister service. And the reason behind the decision to move it is in line with the reason that first series, the Zoe Kravitz-led “High Fidelity” remake, was also taken to Hulu: more mature content.
While representatives for Disney, Hulu and “Love, Victor” studio 20th Century Fox Television declined to comment, two individuals with knowledge of Disney’s told TheWrap that the show, inspired by the PG-13-rated 2018 film starring Nick Robinson, features a realistic depiction of growing up and family life that at times includes depictions of alcohol use, parents’ marital issues and sexual exploration.
Because of these elements, insiders said, Disney thought the program’s content might alienate young children and families, the target demo for Disney+. For this reason, it was decided that “Love, Victor,” would be a better fit at Hulu, the home of older teen/young adult series like “Looking for Alaska,” “PEN15” and “Grown-ish,” which explore coming-of-age themes with a realistic, sometimes dramatic tone.
Insiders said the decision had nothing to do with the fact that “Love, Victor” centers on a gay character, as Disney+ currently has LGBTQ characters on original series like “High Schoo Musical: The Musical: The Series.”
“Love, Victor” is set in the world of the “Love, Simon” movie, which was inspired by Becky Albertalli’s acclaimed novel, “Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.” The series follows Victor (played by Michael Cimino), a new student at Creekwood High School (the school also featured in the film) on his own journey of self-discovery, facing challenges at home, adjusting to a new city and struggling with his sexual orientation. When it all seems too much, he reaches out to Simon to help him navigate the ups and downs of high school.
Production recently wrapped on the 10-episode first season, which is set to launch on Hulu in June, and a writers’ room has been opened to begin exploring storylines for a potential second season.
“‘Love, Victor’ is funny, heartfelt and deeply affecting, and we were incredibly taken with the project,” Craig Erwich, senior vice president of originals at Hulu, said in a statement earlier Monday, when the show’s move was first announced. “The show’s contemporary lens and honest storytelling make it a perfect fit for the millions of fans on Hulu who already watch and see themselves in series like ‘Looking For Alaska,’ ‘Pen15’ and ‘Grown-ish.'”
Ricky Strauss, Disney+’s president of content and marketing, added: “With Hulu now an integral part of our streaming family, our teams are closely collaborating and we have the unique ability to choose the best home for our original productions. All of us at Disney+ are incredibly proud of ‘Love, Victor’ and know the series will be a perfect addition to Hulu’s strong slate of young adult programming.”
Along with Cimino, “Love, Victor” stars Ana Ortiz (“Whiskey Cavalier,” “Ugly Betty”) as Isabel, Victor’s smart and warm mother who loves her husband and her family, but is under a lot of pressure as they move their family across the country.
The cast also includes James Martinez (“One Day at a Time”) as Armando, Victor’s regular blue collar “guy’s guy” father who loves his family deeply and works hard for them. Isabella Ferreira (“Orange is the New Black”) plays Pilar, Victor’s sullen younger sister in the throes of teenage angst, while Mateo Fernandez will make his acting debut as Adrian, Victor’s adorable, good-natured little brother. Rachel Naomi Hilson (“This Is Us”) stars as Mia, Victor’s whip-smart friend with a quick wit and easy laugh, with Bebe Wood (“The Real O’Neal’s,” “The New Normal”) as her quirky and social media-obsessed best friend, Lake. George Sear (“Will,” “Into the Badlands”) portrays Benjie, Victor’s confident and charming classmate, with Anthony Turpel (“The Bold and the Beautiful”) as Felix, Victor’s lanky, awkward new neighbor, and Mason Gooding (“Book smart”) as Andrew, Creek wood’s cocky and popular basketball-loving jock.
Isaac Aptaker (“This Is Us”) and Elizabeth Berger (“This Is Us”), who wrote the 2018 film “Love, Simon,” serve as executive producers on “Love, Victor,” alongside Brian Tanen (“Grand Hotel”), Jason Ensler (“The Passage”), Isaac Klausner (“The Hate U Give”), Marty Bowen (“First Man”), Adam Fishbach (“Narcos”), Wyck Godfrey (“I, Robot”), Pouya Shahbazian (“Divergent”) and Adam Londy.