The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have acquired the rights to produce a film based on a best-selling book for the first time, as reported by The Sun. As part of their lucrative Netflix deal, which is estimated to be worth up to £80 million, Archewell Productions will adapt the romantic novel Meet Me At The Lake by former journalist Carley Fortune into a fictional drama.
This new project comes after Harry and Meghan’s departure from Spotify, where they produced a podcast series titled Archetypes. The couple and Spotify “mutually agreed to part ways,” according to a statement from their company. Archetypes featured interviews conducted by Meghan with renowned figures such as Mariah Carey and Serena Williams, focusing on topics like race and parenthood, spanning over 12 episodes.
In addition to their film endeavor, Harry’s documentary Heart of Invictus is scheduled to be released on Netflix this month. The documentary follows the journey of wounded veterans participating in the Invictus Games, taking place in Düsseldorf in September.
Meet Me At The Lake, released in May 2023, spent two weeks in the top ten of the New York Times Bestsellers List. The novel revolves around two strangers, Fern Brookbanks and Will Baxter, who form an unexpected connection in their early 20s. After a day of adventure, they agree to meet again in a year, but only Fern shows up. Fast forward to when Fern is 32 and her life is not going as planned. She reluctantly returns to her childhood home to manage her mother’s lakeside resort, something she had vowed never to do. To her surprise, nine years later, Will reappears and offers to assist her, although he is hiding something that confuses Fern.
Set in Canada, the story tackles themes of mental health, postnatal depression, and the aftermath of childhood trauma caused by the loss of a parent in a car accident. These themes reflect some of the experiences that Harry and Meghan have faced in their own lives.
Carley Fortune, the author of Meet Me At The Lake, is a best-selling author who has sold over one million copies of her books worldwide. She has also worked as an editor at prominent Canadian publications such as Chatelaine, Globe and Mail, Toronto Life, and The Grid. Fortune’s debut novel, Every Summer After, a nostalgic exploration of love and the long-lasting impact of choices made, was released in May 2022 and became a number one bestseller on the New York Times, Globe and Mail, and USA Today lists. However, there are no current plans to adapt Every Summer After for television or film.
Due to the ongoing strike in Hollywood, production of the film adaptation has been postponed. Therefore, there is no information yet regarding the casting of the main characters or the anticipated release date of the film on Netflix.