EXCLUSIVE: Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment is partnering with Wattpad Webtoon Studios to develop a feature adaptation of Love Advice from the Great Duke of Hell, the hit comic from the creator known as Unfins, which has thus far garnered more than 160 million views on digital comic publishing platform, Webtoon.
Attached to script the live-action take is Cody Blue Snider, a veteran of the commercial and music video worlds, who is best known for his award-winning shorts All That Remains and Fool’s Day. Imagine will produce alongside Wattpad Webtoon Studios, with Karen Lunder and Allan Mandelbaum overseeing for Imagine, and Aron Levitz, David Madden and Lindsey Weems Ramey overseeing for Wattpad Webtoon.
Unfins’ Ringo Award-nominated comic tells the story of Paul, a hapless high schooler madly in love with “the girl next door.” After mistakenly summoning The Great Duke of Hell, Astaroth, Paul offers his soul in exchange for winning his love interest’s heart. But unfortunately, Astaroth turns out to be just as clueless as Paul in the art of love.
In a joint statement, Imagine Features’ President Lunder and Senior Vice President Mandelbaum called Love Advice “a bold and irresistible take on the romantic comedy that is both nostalgic and truly original.” The pair added that they’re “thrilled to be joining forces with Cody Blue Snider and the team at Wattpad WEBTOON Studios to bring this story and Cody’s singular vision to audiences everywhere.”
Wattpad Webtoon Studios’ Head of Global Film, Lindsey Weems Ramey, underscored the appeal of the comic as “a truly unique story, with subversive dark humor and a surprisingly sweet romance at its heart.” Continued the executive, “This charming, twisted rom-com is unlike anything else, and fans around the world have fallen in love with this story of the most unlikely love expert. This story needs a world-class creative team, so we’re thrilled to work alongside the team at Imagine and Cody Blue Snider to bring Astaroth and the rest of these unforgettable characters to life.”
Recently closing an exclusive multiyear first-look film deal with Amazon Studios, Imagine is heading into this year’s Emmys with 14 nominations for projects including Judy Blume Forever, Fire Island, The Other Two, The Ms. Pat Show, Bono & The Edge: A Sort Of Homecoming With Dave Letterman, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman and Volodymyr Zelenskyy, A Black Lady Sketch Show, Light & Magic, and Emily in Paris. Recent releases from the company include the Apple TV+ dramedy The Beanie Bubble and the docuseries The Super Models, made for the same streamer. Among its projects coming up from release are the Eddie Murphy holiday comedy Candy Cane Lane on Prime Video, Apple TV+ docuseries The Dynasty: New England Patriots, and an untitled doc on Muppets creator Jim Henson.
The fan-driven global entertainment and publishing arm for online publishers Wattpad and Webtoon, which as of July had a combined audience of more than 182 million, Wattpad Webtoon Studios brings together technology, a diverse new generation of creators, and passionate global fandoms to create data-backed, audience-driven TV shows, films, and books. Currently, the company has 100+ film and TV projects in development or production around the world. Among them are Hawk, with MCU scribe Christopher Yost, based on the sci-fi Wattpad webnovel; A. Rasen’s Gremoryland with Roy Lee’s Vertigo Entertainment; Deanna Cameron’s webnovel thriller What Happened That Night, adapted by Children of Men‘s David Arata; and T.L. Bodine’s supernatural thriller The Hound, adapted by Angela LaManna (Raised by Wolves). Wattpad Webtoon is also currently developing an animated series based on the Webtoon sensation Lore Olympus, which has amassed more than 1.5 billion views to date.