‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ movie is getting a sequel: 'There are a lot of people who need to see' joyful queer stories, author Casey McQuiston says

Prime Video announced May 9 that a "Red, White & Royal Blue" film sequel is in the works, with McQuiston and director Matthew López writing it.

Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine in "Red, White & Royal Blue." (Jonathan Prime / © Amazon Studios / courtesy Everett Collection)

Since the film adaptation of Red, White & Royal Blue started streaming on Prime Video in August 2023, life has been a whirlwind for the original novel's author Casey McQuiston and the film's director Matthew López. The movie has been popular with audiences, and now a sequel has been announced.

LGBTQ movies in general — especially ones that center queer joy — haven’t always had an easy time breaking into the cultural zeitgeist, much less becoming beloved franchises that fans are loudly and unabashedly proud of.

“I still remember stealing Brokeback Mountain from my local Blockbuster and hiding it in the bottom drawer of my desk in my childhood bedroom,” McQuiston, who uses they/them pronouns, told Yahoo Entertainment. “We're very fortunate to get to tell the joyous [queer stories] because there are a lot of people who need to see that.”

López explained that the success of their film came during a year when six of the Oscars acting nominees were people playing LGBTQ characters, and he credits their achievements — and Red, White & Royal Blue’s appeal — to all of those movies simultaneously showing different queer characters from all walks of life.

“What we add to that is specificity,” he told Yahoo. “There's only one movie with the prince of England falling in love with the biracial, bisexual son of the U.S. president. At least I hope there's only one movie with that story.”

Given all of the sustained buzz around the film, it can be difficult to manage expectations from enthusiastic fans both online and in real life. How do López and McQuiston handle the ongoing pressure to deliver what readers want, especially in the age of ongoing social media feedback?

“It’s very simple: I live in London, I'm asleep by the time everybody's had their afternoon coffee, and I'm very good at deleting Instagram from my phone,” López joked. “Everyone should be so lucky as to have people clamoring for sequels and have your first film met with a genuine sense of ownership from audiences. But when things get to where I find myself reading articles about my projects far too often, that's when Instagram goes off the phone and I take the dog out for a walk, whether he wants to go or not.”

McQuiston has dealt with nonstop chatter ever since their novel first came out in 2019.

“It is so rare to put a character out in the world and have your love for that character mirrored back to you,” McQuiston explained about the love readers have shown for Alex Claremont-Diaz and Prince Henry. “I never want the fear of meeting the expectation to outweigh my gratitude for that.”

The pair will continue hearing fans's thoughts on the franchise for the foreseeable future though, as Prime Video announced May 9 that a Red, White & Royal Blue sequel is in the works, with McQuiston and López set to write it. Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine will also reprise their roles as romantic leads Alex and Henry.

McQuiston and López haven’t revealed plot details, but the author wrote a lengthy bonus chapter in 2022 for the novel’s collector’s edition that serves as an extended epilogue. It could potentially provide source material for the new film.

McQuiston also said that being involved in the first movie’s production has definitely changed their work as a writer going forward — for the better.

“Sometimes I write something and I'm like, ‘I'm really jacking up the budget on whatever movie they make. And I gotta do less locations. No more night shoots!’ they joked. “But more seriously, I actually think it's been really good for me creatively. It’s made me a better editor of my own books. It's made me less precious.”

No production or release schedule is set for the sequel, which means fans will have to settle for revisiting the original film for now.

As for a scene to pay more attention to on a rewatch? McQuiston is partial to anything that plays up the score.

“I do have to shout out the bagpipes in the polo scene,” they said. “That piece of music should be more recognized.”