Our Valentine’s Day Favorite The Prince and the Dressmaker Is in Talks for an Adaptation
Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker was without a doubt one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. The graphic novel was not only beautifully drawn, but the friendship turned love story between the two leads was touching, especially in how it normalized the genderfluid male lead.
Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:
Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!
Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.
While a part of me is nervous about any movie studio adapting this work, I want to believe that in the changing climate we have in terms of gender and sexuality, that Universal is trying to get ahead of the game. People are yearning for movies that show different experiences and identities, especially in animated films for children.
ParaNorman in 2012, by Focus Features a subsidiary of Universal Pictures, started the ball rolling when it made it Mitch Downe gay. While it was a reveal that happened at the end of the film, with him mentioning having a boyfriend, it was still a hugely important scene. It wasn’t a bait-and-switch, it was playing on the expectations of heterosexuality that we all have.
How to Train Your Dragon from Dreamworks, teased that they were going to make the character Gobber The Belch gay, but it only ended up being a case of Ambiguously Gay.
Thankfully, television shows like Legend of Korra, Steven Universe, and others have been doing more to normalize queer identities in media.
My hope is that Universal gravitated towards The Prince and the Dressmaker because they want to be the studio that creates a queer romance for children that teaches them that they are not alone. Plus, it will be a great take that to Disney to beat them to the punch of delivering quality LGBTQ media.
(via i09, image: First Second Books)
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