The cover of Scott Westerfield's Uglies
(Simon & Schuster)

Is the ‘Uglies’ Movie Ever Going To Come Out?

Uglies, a film adaptation of Scott Westerfeld’s novel of the same name, has been in development since 2006, leading to many questioning when or even if the film will finally be released.

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Westerfield’s novel takes place in a future dystopian world preoccupied with physical appearance. Once citizens reach the age of 16, they are expected to undergo an operation that turns them from “Uglies” into “Pretties” by erasing what are seen as flaws and making individuals match society’s beauty standards. After the operation, many Pretties go on to live in a big city where they lead blissful lives with no responsibilities. While Tally Youngblood is highly anticipating her operation, her perspective begins to change when she meets Shay, a fellow Ugly who is reluctant to undergo the operation.

In 2006, one year after Uglies was published, producer John Davis acquired the rights to the novel. Despite plans to begin production, the project fell into development hell. It wasn’t until 14 years later that the project was revived, with Joey King set to star as the lead character, and Netflix prepared to distribute the movie. Filming wrapped in 2021, but three years later, Uglies has still not made it to the screen.

When will Uglies be released?

Unfortunately, Uglies does not yet have an official release date. It’s not entirely clear why the movie hasn’t been released despite filming wrapping in 2021. However, Westerfeld has suggested that the Hollywood labor strikes contributed to the delay. The most recent update from Netflix came in February of 2024 when it listed Uglies as one of the movies arriving on its platform this year. Westerfeld also posted to his blog, promising his fans that the movie would be coming sometime in 2024.

Additionally, in March, Westerfeld announced that viewers can now search for Uglies on the Netflix app. Although they can’t watch the movie since it hasn’t been released, the Uglies thumbnail will come up, and users will be able to set a reminder so they’re notified when it becomes available. However, the author also reiterated that there’s still no release date and suggested that fans try to convince Netflix “to move the release date up.”

Those were the most recent updates on the project, so the movie is still expected to arrive this year. Given that we’re already halfway through the year, it will most likely receive a late 2024 release. Still, things have grown quiet again since the movie announced its 2024 release window, raising some concern about whether anything has changed behind the scenes. Hopefully, an official release will be forthcoming soon.

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.