There's perhaps nothing better than when producers finally decide to turn a book into a visualized adaptation! Newly American writer, Ryan O'Connell, is about to make his directorial debut with a new comedy show based on his 2022 novel. With a few familiar faces already involved, here's what we know so far.
Ryan O'Connell is an American writer, actor, director, comedian, LGBT activist, and disability advocate. In June 2022, O'Connell released a novel titled Just By Looking at Him. The book narrates the story of a gay TV writer with cerebral palsy who "searches for acceptance in an overwhelmingly ableist world," as told in the book's summary. Now, FilmNation Entertainment and Berlanti/Schechter Films have decided to turn this novel into production, with O'Connell's directing skills incorporated. Not only that, O'Connell will star in the lead role, Elliot, who stumbles across life obstacles to find a place in the world, find love, and also connect with those who he feels different from. There are high expectations for this film as FilmNation Entertainment has volunteered to handle the finance and worldwide sales. O'Connell gushed, "It's been absolute heaven working on the adaptation of my novel with the smarties at Berlanti/Schechter and FilmNation, and I'm beyond excited to terrorize a new medium with my gay filth!!!," according to Variety.
Starring alongside O'Connell is none other than Jim Parsons, who spent 12 seasons playing the science genius Sheldon Cooper on American Sitcom, The Big Bang Theory. Parsons will be playing the role of Elliot's boss, Ethan. If you're wondering how O'Connell's directorial debut has taken off so quickly, this isn't his first approved piece of work. O'Connell has also incorporated his writing talents into the New York Times, Vice, and Vulture. Not to mention, his writing skills are recognized in MTV's television show Awkward, Will & Grace, and Netflix's The Baby-Sitter's Club and Peacock's reboot Queer as Folk, which O'Connell also stars in. So, when O'Connell pitched his novel turn-production idea, Ashely Fox - FilmNation Entertainment's president of production - said, "We were immediately hooked by his hilarious, totally original, empathetic vision for the film. Ryan is the perfect filmmaker to bring this personal-yet-universal underdog story to life. It's unlike anything else out there, and we're thrilled to be part of it, alongside our wonderful partners at Berlanti/Schechter."
Production has never been more thrilled to work with O'Connell, who has brought so much talent to both on and off-screen creations. Although Jim Parsons abid farewell after The Big Bang Theory ended, we have the pleasure of watching him return to our screens as an entirely different character. We can only wonder what the science gang is up to now.