Prince Harry and his duchess, Meghan are turning out to be a jack and jill of all trades. The latest rumor is that they are moving into film production, with reports that they have purchased the screen rights for a bestselling romantic novel that not surprisingly, mirrors their own lives.
This new venture marks a change of direction after their forays into documentary-making, and both of them publishing books. It will form part of their deal with Netflix, worth a reported $100million.
Carley Fortune’s “Meet Me at the Lake” was published in May of this year. The novel tells the story of a woman who loses her mother in a car crash and falls in love with a man who helps her heal from her trauma. The film is expected to be a romantic drama with a touch of humor. Does the plot sound familiar?
It is set near Toronto, where Meghan was living when she began her relationship with Harry, during her time working on the legal drama, Suits.
The Sun quotes an ‘insider’ revealing: “The themes gripped the couple and it was chosen for their first adaptation with Netflix.” The newspaper estimates the rights for the book – which sold 37,000 copies in its first week of release and spent two weeks in the New York Times top ten list – could have cost the couple’s production company an estimated $3.8m. This is Carley Fortune’s second novel.
The book’s publisher, Penguin Random House, previously published Harry’s memoir Spare.
If successful, the project will be a boost to the couple’s partnership with Netflix, reported to be under threat despite the success of last year’s record-breaking documentary series detailing their frustrations with royal life.
Their first production, Harry & Meghan, was a two-part docuseries that was released in December 2022. It explores the couple’s love story, their decision to step back from royal duties, and their challenges with the media and the monarchy.
Although it set a record of views on Netflix, it was heavily criticized, and according to some sources, it placed their pricey Netflix deal in jeopardy. The trailers for the series have been panned for allegedly using footage and photos in misleading ways, such as showing paparazzi from events that had nothing to do with the couple, or cropping images to suggest they were isolated or ignored by other royals. Some commentators have also accused the couple of being hypocritical for complaining about media intrusion while exposing their private lives on Netflix. Others have questioned their motives for making the series, suggesting they are seeking revenge or attention. Some viewers have also expressed boredom or disappointment with the series, saying it does not reveal anything new or interesting.
Other projects that they are involved in are, “Live to Lead”, a seven-part docuseries that will be released on December 31st, 2022. It features some of the most inspiring and influential leaders of our time, such as Greta Thunberg, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Jacinda Ardern, Siya Kolisi, Gloria Steinem, Albie Sachs and Bryan Stevenson.
“Heart of Invictus”, also to be released in 2023, follows the participants of the Invictus Games 2022, an international sporting event for wounded service personnel. Prince Harry is the patron of the Invictus Games Foundation and will appear in the docuseries.