Uglies Book Cover, Joey King in The Kissing Booth
Simon Pulse | Netflix | Komixx Entertainment

Everything We Know About Netflix’s ‘Uglies’ Movie

Earlier this year, Netflix announced they were bringing Scott Westerfeld’s ‘Uglies’ to life. Here’s everything we know about the movie.
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Twentieth Century Fox might have failed to bring Uglies to the screen, but Netflix is adding the series to its expansive library of teen movie franchises. And rest easy, because superfan Joey King and author Scott Westerfeld are behind the adaptation.

Netflix Has Secured Another Book Adaptation

Netflix has recently been raking in the young adult book-to-film adaptations, with To All the Boys I Loved Before, The Kissing Booth, and Shadow and Bone. They don’t seem to be slowing down and Uglies is next on the list.

The movie is based on Scott Westerfeld’s book, Uglies, which started the series in 2005. It quickly became a best-seller and the second book followed close behind that same year. The third book was released early 2006 with the fourth in 2007.

The first book starts with Tally counting down the days until her sixteenth birthday when she’ll have the operation to make her a Pretty. But, when Tally’s new friend, Shay, expresses uncertainty about the procedure and runs away, Tally is given a life-altering choice. She can either find Shay and turn her in or never turn pretty at all.

Uglies Series Book Covers
Simon Pulse

After announcing that Joey King was attached to the project, she posted her love of the books on Instagram Stories.

“The Uglies really shaped my love of reading when I was younger. To put it lightly… I’m losing my s–t that I get to bring this story to life. Thank you, @scott_westerfeld for allowing myself and @netflix to bring the adventures of Tally Youngblood and her friends to life. I might have some SpagBol tonight to celebrate… let’s go to the Rusty Ruins my fellow Uglies fanatics!”

Krista Vernoff wrote the screenplay. In addition to Joey King and Scott Westerfeld, Jamie King and John Fox are executive producing. Davis Entertainment Company, Anonymous Content, Industry Entertainment, and Wonderland are producing the film.

There is no set release date, but filming started in October 2021 and is set to finish in January 2022. If things go well, we could see it in late 2022 or early 2023.

Most of the Cast is in Undisclosed Roles

Joey King has been on board from the start to star and executive produce the adaptation. While her role hasn’t been officially announced yet, it’s easy to presume that by “starring,” she’ll be the lead character, Tally Youngblood.

King has been acting from a very young age, but her success with The Kissing Booth movies and The Act made her a household name. She is also producing and starring in other projects including Sony’s A Spark of Light limited series and Paramount’s The In Between.

Laverne Cox was announced to be joining the film in an undisclosed role on December 2. Cox is best known for her roles in Promising Young Woman, and Orange is the New Black. She is a two-time SAG Award winner and four-time Emmy nominee. She’ll also be in Shonda Rhimes’ Inventing Anna next year.

Laverne Cox, Chase Stokes, Keith Powers, Brianne Tju
Focus Features | Universal Pictures | Netflix | Hulu | Amazon Studios

In October, Netflix announced that Keith Powers, Brianne Tju, and Chase Stokes would be in the film in unknown roles. Powers was recently in The Tomorrow War; Tju in Amazon Prime’s I Know What You Did Last Summer; and Stokes in Outer Banks.

Kevin Miles, who you might recognize as Jake from State Farm, and Kelly Gale, a former Victoria’s Secret model, are rumored to be making appearances. While they have not been officially announced, they are listed on the Uglies movie IMDb page. Miles is set to play Auryn and Gale as Sage, Tally’s new friend that sets the plot in motion.

Westerfeld Is Expanding the Uglies Universe

Eleven years after finishing the Uglies series, Westerfeld decided it would be the perfect time to expand the universe and tell more characters’ stories.

In 2018, Westerfeld released the first book in a new series set in the Uglies world, titled ImpostorsShatter City was released in 2019, with the third, Mirror’s Edge, in 2021. The last book, Youngbloods, will be released next year.

In addition, he released graphic novels set during the original series in 2012 with Devin Grayson and Steven Cummings. The two books were titled Uglies: Shay’s Story and Uglies: Cutters. He also released Bogus to Bubbly: An Insider’s Guide to the World of Uglies in 2008.

Here’s to hoping we get more than just this movie. And even more hope that we get the Impostors series adaptations, too.