'Alex Strangelove' Didn't Get Made For 10 Years Because Of This Reason

8 June 2018, 14:20

Alex Strangelove
Alex Strangelove. Picture: Netflix
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

Thank GOD for Netflix.

Alex Strangelove, the much-hyped LGBTQ coming-of-age film, drops today (June 8) on Netflix and no one is more relieved than the film's director - who has waited 10 years for his film to see the light of day.

The film follows Alex Truelove, played by Daniel Doheny, a high school senior who's planning on losing his virginity to girlfriend Claire (Madeline Weinstein) but things get complicated when he meets Elliot (Antonio Marziale), a handsome and charming gay kid from the other side of town, who unwittingly sends Alex on a rollercoaster journey of sexual identity.

The film has earned positive reviews from critics and there's been a significant amount of buzz around the release. In an interview with Metro.us, director Craig Johnson revealed that the film took 10 years to make because studios were reluctant to invest in a film that didn't have any big roles for household name movie stars.

“We struggled to get it made for 10 years. Not really because of the content. At least no-one said it was because of the content to my face. The problem was that I didn’t have any roles for movie stars. People would say, ‘We love this. We get it. The conflict being a kid struggling with his sexuality. But it being a fun high-school sex comedy. Could you re-write it? Beef up a role for a teacher and then we will be off to the races’.”

Johnson said he attempted to re-write the script but it never worked, as the story relied on the relationship between the teenage characters, not adults.

“I tried to re-write it. But it never worked. It was never about a teacher and a kid. Or a parent and a kid. It was always in the world of the kids. Which I think is really true to high school.” “Because your world is your friends in high school. So I was like, ‘I’m sorry, this is the story. We are with the kids.’"


Luckily for Johnson, Netflix didn't require a big name star to sign on to the project and they were fully behind Johnson's creative vision. feature in it's teen output and they were on board with the messaging of the movie.

"It really took Netflix coming and saying, ‘Hey, our business model doesn’t require a movie star in the lead role. We love this. Cast whoever you want and have fun’. Working with Netflix was an unfettered dream. They were 100% supportive creatively. They never interfered. They were true to their word when they said, ‘This is your movie. Go ahead and make the movie you want to make.’ Every step of the process. It was just a dream scenario.”

Thank GOD for Netflix for making all our queer teen fantasies coming true. We are truly not worthy.