jordan fisher

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.

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.

Even Fisher celebrated the exciting rom-com news with a special Hamil-reaction from the streaming platform.

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.

Photo: Fox

About the author

Miranda Siwak

Miranda Siwak

Miranda Siwak is an assistant editor at Adventure Media & Events, where she writes for the Pop Insider and the Toy Insider, and also contributes to The Toy Book. When she’s not covering the latest news and trends, she can usually be found reading a good book, searching for her next DIY project, or keeping up with all of her favorite must-watch TV.