Shondaland recently jumped into the YA adaptation game, and now Netflix is getting in on the action as Variety reports that the streaming service is in final talks to adapt the YA bestseller 13 Reasons Why as a miniseries. Singer and actress Selena Gomez is set to star in the 13-episode series; after reading the book, Gomez brought it to Anonymous Content for a screen adaptation, bringing in her mother Mandy Teefey and producer Kristel Laiblin (an executive producer on In Time) for the negotiations. All three women will executive produce the Netflix series.
13 Reasons Why is based on Jay Asher’s 2007 debut novel of the same name, which sounds like a pretty depressing book. It retrospectively follows the life of Hannah Baker (Gomez), a high school student who committed suicide. A young boy named Clay—who has not been cast in the series yet—receives a shoebox of cassette tapes, each with detailed instructions for who to pass the box along to next, from his former crush shortly after she takes her own life. The series’ title refers to the 13 reasons why Hannah killed herself, and on the tapes, Hannah explains to 12 of her peers how they each contributed to her decision. Yeah, this story really doesn’t hold back on the gloom. The dark pilot was penned by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Tony Award winner Brian Yorkey, who is currently working with Tom Kitt on a musical adaptation of Magic Mike. He will stay on as a writer for 13 Reasons Why’s full run. Prior to landing at Netflix, 13 Reasons Why was previously in development at Universal as a feature film project.
This is Gomez’s first major executive producing credit outside of her Wizards Of Waverly Place career. (She served as an executive producer on the Wizards Of Waverly Place TV movie as well as The Wizards Return: Alex Vs. Alex in 2013.) This Netflix series is yet another project for Gomez, who has been keeping quite busy over the past year. She recently released her second solo album, Revival, served as Gwen Stefani’s team adviser on the current season of The Voice, and appeared in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” video (but who didn’t?). She is also set to star in the upcoming Neighbors followup Neighbors 2.