Gather round, Red, White & Royal Blue fans: evidence is mounting to suggest that the successful queer romcom could soon be spawning a sequel.
The film follows British heir to the throne Prince Henry (Nicholas Galitzine) as he embarks on a dangerous love affair with his former nemesis Alex Claremont-Diaz (Taylor Zakhar Perez), the son of the US president.
It’s about as far-fetched as it can get, but there’s clearly a market for queer love stories with two hot men at their centre. The film has been one of Prime Video’s most viewed for show since its release, while conversations about the film within the fandom have continued at a ferocious pace.
So, as Red, White & Royal Blue continues to dominate as one of 2023’s biggest runaway hits, the question of a sequel is on everyone’s lips – including López’s.
The extended Red, White & Royal Blue novel
For ardent lovers of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 novel on which the film was based, a follow-up has always been on the cards.
While the original novel finished with Alex and Henry beginning their new, highly public lives together, and Alex’s mother beginning her second term in the White House, a 2022 re-release of the book explained exactly what had happened to the characters in the meantime.
The special collectors edition of Red, White & Royal Blue includes a bonus chapter at the end, which jumps ahead five years into the future.
Matthew López has explained his approach to cutting material from Casey McQuiston’s bestselling novel. (Prime Video)
Told from Henry’s perspective, the chapter reveals Alex chasing a career in law, while the prince has given up his right to the throne in favour of a life of charity work and cooking.
They’re now engaged and living in Austin, in Alex’s home state of Texas. It’s an idyllic premise for a second novel or film, tracing their relatively mundane new lives. But, as a GQ deep-dive points out, a follow-up could focus on Alex deciding to follow in his mother’s footsteps and run for the presidency. The first queer family in the White House? Now that is a story we’d read.
Matthew López is open to a sequel – on one condition
Despite having to make one or two heart-breaking decisions when it came to adapting the book – namely chopping Alex’s sister June from the story entirely – López has become an adored figure in the Red, White & Royal Blue universe.
Whether it’s through ensuring the prince and the president’s son use protection during sex, or his insistence that the film isn’t a “gay” movie, because Alex is bisexual, the Florida-born director seems to have won over the fervent fan base. They’d definitely want him in charge of any sequel.
Luckily for them, he’s up for it.
Director Matthew López made his Red, White & Royal Blue decisions for a reason. (Supplied)
“I would love to do a sequel, if we have the right story,” he told Teen Vogue. “There has to be a better reason than simply the desire to make one, there has to be a compelling story reason. I don’t think a sequel is a bad idea, but I don’t think a sequel for the sake of doing a sequel is necessarily sufficient.”
It’s not the first time López has addressed the demand for a sequel, recently telling Hello magazine that he would make it, even without a book from McQuiston.
“Even if Casey never wrote a book, I would if there was demand for it,” he said. “And if Casey and Taylor and Nick wanna work on it, then who am I to say no?”
Casey McQuiston does have ideas for a novel sequel
It’s reassuring to know that López would work on a film follow-up even without new source material from McQuiston, but it seems that might be necessary.
In 2019, the author, who uses they/them pronouns, said that “anything’s possible” when it comes to a potential second novel.
Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine in Red, White & Royal Blue. (Supplied)
“I have plenty of ideas for stories set in this world and would love a chance to explore one of them some day,” McQuiston said. “I would be surprised if you’ve seen the last of Alex and Henry.”
We’re not mathematicians, but all that seems to add up to a sequel somewhere down the line…
Red, White & Royal Blue is available on Prime Video now.