Wattpad has long been a safe space for writers to share the stories they create for a massive audience, often leaning toward romance and erotica genres without the barriers of needing any sort of book deal to get it published. In recent years, the app/website has also become a launching pad for writers to truly get published in print, and lately, movies based on their stories come alive. Netflix’s Kissing Booth trilogy and the After franchise have proved there’s a place in Hollywood for these stories, and Lionsgate has just jumped on a new one.
Writer Kate Marchant first published her story Float on Wattpad when she was 17 years old, and now it’s a huge hit and getting a film adaptation, per an official announcement from Lionsgate. The movie adaptation starring Robbie Amell of CW’s The Flash and Andrea Bang of Kim’s Convenience has already been filming in Vancouver since last week. Float has been read by nearly 26 million people and could be the next phenomenon akin to After and The Kissing Booth as each of those franchises wrap up.
The movie will be helmed by first-time film director Sherren Lee, who previously has been recognized for her work on the short film The Things You Think I’m Thinking back in 2017. Lee has also helmed a number of TV show episodes, including Kim’s Convenience with her lead, Andrea Bang, who played Janet alongside Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings star Simu Liu for five seasons. Lee shared these words with the announcement:
Float will not only bring a Wattpad romance to life, it will create some space for Asian representation in the romance arena. The story follows a pre-med student Waverly (Bang) who spends the summer in a beach town and meets a local named Blake (Amell). When Blake learns she cannot swim, he offers to teach her and the pair form an unlikely romance.
The movie will differ from the original story that instead follows a 17-year-old who is hanging out in Florida against her wishes following her parent’s divorce. The changes look like it might mature Float a bit more rather than it centering on high school students. Lionsgate’s vice president of co-productions and acquisitions Lauren Bixby said that the chemistry between its two stars are “undeniable” and shared her excitement to share the film. While we wait, the first six chapters of Float are available to read on Wattpad.