While Noah Centineo’s Peter Kavinsky stole Lara Jean’s (Lana Condor) heart (and ours too, in all honesty), he’s got some competition for our leading lady’s love, at least according to the sequel’s plot and the storyline set out in author Jenny Han’s book trilogy.
By the conclusion of Netflix‘s first film, LJ and Peter K. ended up declaring their love and beginning a new, real relationship as they walk off into the sunset on the lacrosse field. Their happily-ever-after ending was seemingly cut short in the post-credit scene when LJ’syounger sis Kitty answered the door to find John Ambrose McClaren wearing a suit while holding the love letter and a bouquet of flowers. The scene pointed to the love triangle plot from the second book, P.S. I Still Love You.
The casting change may come as a shock, but when Condor announced that a sequel film was officially confirmed, she gave us a strong hint that a recasting was in the works: “You make the perfect John Ambrose,” she says to a mystery man on the phone.
On the official start date of the sequel’s production, the streaming platform revealed a teen heartthrob would join the TATBILB crew as the new McClaren. Jordan Fisher, most recognized for his roles as the scene-stealing Doody in Grease Live and Mark Cohen in Rent Live, will play the new love interest.
All seems fine and dandy, and perhaps Fisher’s addition will fit in perfectly with the Netflix rom-com cast; however, we can’t ignore the fact that McClaren was already cast in the first film. Actor Jordan Burtchett, without any dialogue, was the one who appeared at the Covey household, flowers in hand. We saw him holding his (ok, fine, McClaren’s) love letter from LJ. How can they shrug off the fact that we already met the new love interest?
Not that Fisher can’t tackle the role — after how he carried Rent Not-So-Live, I’m fairly certain he can do anything — but we already met McClaren and perhaps even got attached to the idea that he would be the one romancing LJ in a sequel. Not to mention that Han’s book version of McClaren more closely resembled Burtchett’s appearance.
How will Netflix address the switch in casting? Perhaps one of the silly “Oh, you look different” remarks about changes in appearance? Or suggest that Burtchett plays a Cyrano-type for Fisher’s McClaren, as a messenger of sorts to deliver the letter and flowers on Fisher’s behalf. (Wouldn’t that be a twist!) Or maybe it will be one of those movie tropes in which they just don’t address ever and move on like Fisher was the only McClaren to exist in the film world, which, in all probability, is the most likely.
Again, while we wish Fisher no ill will, the manner of recasting leaves so many questions in its wake. Clearly, I’m not the only one pondering all of this because social media has plenty of thoughts on the news. Fans are simultaneously excited about this swoon-worthy casting announcement and wondering how the film’s production will address the recasting.
anyway jordan burtchett didn’t deserve to go like that after being casted for tatbilb but i’m here to embrace jordan fisher as the new john ambrose
— flavia (@huttonroses) March 28, 2019
So I love Jordan Fischer and I'm excited to see him as John Ambrose but Jordan Burtchett looks EXACTLY like I pictured John Ambrose to look. https://t.co/qRfx3zH1Qo
— Christy (@ChriistyAnnV) March 28, 2019
okay i rlly didn’t want them to recast john ambrose bc the ending of tatbilb wouldn’t make sense but OMG maybe we do stan the new one after all
— rach (@emilyslilia) March 28, 2019
Not only are Fisher’s fans on board with seeing his take on McClaren, but they seem to have firmly switched their loyalties to McClaren from Peter K.
I can't root for Peter when Jordan Fisher is playing John Ambrose. I just can't.
— merline ? Arya Stark (@merlinereads) March 28, 2019
Jordan Fisher is charming and dreamy which is perfect for John Ambrose Sweetheart McClaren pic.twitter.com/4pQZQi8CUQ
— Jenna Guillaume (@JennaGuillaume) March 28, 2019
YALL. @Jordan_Fisher IS LITERALLY ON MY LIST OF DISNEY CHANNEL BOYS THAT NEED TO BE IN A NETFLIX ROMCOM AND IT’S…HAPPENING?! I’m going to die. I’m going to die.
— Ria (@freetolive603) March 28, 2019
As you famously heard once before..
? just you wait ?
— Netflix US (@netflix) March 28, 2019
And indeed, we can’t wait.
The streaming platform previously announced that returning faces Janel Parrish, Anna Cathcart, and John Corbett would join Fisher, Condor, and Centineo.