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First came Emily Henry's bestselling romances. Now come the movies

Three of the author's hit books have been optioned for film adaptations over the past year.
TODAY Illustration / Berkley
/ Source: TODAY

You've seen her hit romance books on TikTok. Now, they're coming to the big screen — three of them (and counting).

On the the niche TikTok community #BookTok, Emily Henry's romantic canon, "Beach Read," "People We Meet On Vacation" and "Book Lovers," are staple recommendations. Ranking her books is contentious, and calling them overrated is blasphemous.

Read more about Emily Henry's romance empire

Here are just a few examples of the kind of praise her books receive online:

And while readers delight in jumping into Henry's romantic world, defined by always-witty repartee and idyllic small town settings, her universe is getting bigger.

Like the Marvel comics, Henry's stories are growing from page to screen, bringing the possibility for a new film canon. Call it the Emily Henry cinematic universe. In this world, the people are charming, the bookstores are cozy and everyone, eventually, gets their happy ending.

Here's what you need to know about the upcoming movie adaptations of Henry's romance reads.

3 of Henry's books are being produced by different studios

Three of Henry's romances have all been optioned for film adaptations, but all with different teams, according to Henry's agents.

'The People We Meet on Vacation'

Announced in October 2022, the first book that received the official adaptation greenlight was "People We Meet on Vacation," which will be directed by Brett Haley with a screenplay written by Yulin Kuang. The film is being produced by Temple Hill with the studio 3000 Pictures.

"People We Meet On Vacation" follows best friends Poppy and Alex as they embark on one of their annual summer vacations after a two-year hiatus in order to rekindle their friendship. (Because this is a romance, they of course fall in love along the way.)

Henry shared the news on Instagram last October and penned a simple caption alongside the announcement: "How's everyone's Tuesday?" she wrote.

Kuang, a screenwriter and soon-to-be author, marks the one overlap across the film projects, as she is also set to adapt and direct "Beach Read," with 20th Century Studios and Original Film producing.

'Beach Read'

In "Beach Read," two writers, January and Gus, try to overcome writer's block by swapping signature genres while living (and loving) on the shore of Lake Michigan.

"Beach Read," while the first in the Henry literary universe, was Henry's most recent book-to-film announcement. The author shared the news April 5 on Instagram.

"Who's ready to cry," she wrote.

Kuang recently opened up about her approach to adapting the novel in an Instagram post, in which she revealed that she reread the book in Holland, Michigan, for a "Beach Read-Inspired Grand Tour" of the story's setting.

"I love January and Gus and now North Bear Shores with my whole heart and this adaptation is my love letter to all of them," she said.

Henry responded to Kuang's caption, calling her "THEE one."

'Book Lovers'

Lastly, "Book Lovers" is being produced by Tango, the studio behind the Paul Mescal-led tearjerker "Aftersun," with Sarah Heyward attached to adapt.

The book follows literary agent Nora, who goes on a trip with her younger sister to North Carolina and runs into Charlie, a brooding rival editor.

When announcing the film news March 28, Henry opted for an "earnest caption" over a "brush-off."

"There has been a lot of 'rom com films are dead' talk over the last few years even though absolutely everyone I know is desperate for them," she wrote. "The industry, even more than publishing, wants a sure thing, and as we all know, that is the absolute worst constraint for making art. I’m so grateful Tango wants to make this."

In the caption, she explained why romance stories are so important to her. Despite having a "guaranteed 'happy ending,'" the stories represent "hope" amid the struggles of real life, she said.

"This movie is going to funny, cozy, moving and messy. I can’t wait. Thank you for being the best audience," she wrote, in closing.

There's no official casting news yet, but fans have their opinions

On TikTok, Emily Henry's leading men are widely considered the gold standard when it comes to "book boyfriends." As a result, fans are very invested in who will be responsible for bringing the beloved characters to life.

Henry leans into the conversation.

"My fave thing about posting these is always that you guys tag every hot person you can think of and I think that’s beautiful," Henry commented on her own post announcing the "Book Lovers" film.

She even has an entire Instagram story highlight dedicated to compiling the casting dreams of "Beach Read" fans. Some frequent recommendations include Florence Pugh, Ana de Armas, Annie Murphy or Zoey Deutch as January, and Chris Evans, Dev Patel, Henry Golding or Penn Badgley as Gus.

One of the most prevalent theories involves the casting of Alex in "People We Meet On Vacation." Eagle-eyed TikTok fans noticed that actor Calahan Skogman, known for his role as Matthias in "Shadow and Bone," follows and often interacts with Henry on Instagram.

"He's just so Alex, and Emily Henry keeps liking his posts," one TikTok user said in a video in January. "Ma'am, just tell us he's Alex already."

On March 20, Skogman posted a picture with a wolf, a reference to his "Shadow and Bone" character. Henry commented on the pic, "Omg you are living my dream."

Skogman then sent the romance world into a tizzy by responding, "@emilyhenrywrites i can think of at least one more dream i’d like to help come to life."

HIs comment received more than 2 thousand likes and more than 100 responses, primarily to the effect of "You have to be Alex or we riot."

For what it's worth, Skogman has referred to Henry as his "friend" and shared a photo of her latest release "Happy Place" on his Instagram story, writing, "My very talented friend @emilyhenrywrites just came out with another book! Check it out and send her some love x."

Is there any crossover between the movies?

Here’s where things get interesting. While the film adaptations are separate productions, the three romance books are canonically set in the same universe.

After “Beach Read,” each of the subsequent books include a subtle reference to the characters explored in another Henry book.

For example, Charlie, the love interest in “Book Lovers,” turns out to the editor for January, who is the main character of “Beach Read.”

In “People We Meet on Vacation” and Henry’s newest book “Happy Place,” the characters often stop in quaint book stores and make passing comments on the latest works of Gus Everett, January’s husband.

Also in "Book Lovers," Nora and Charlie finally get their happy ending when he professes his love for her in a West Village bookstore — the same bookstore that the main characters in "Happy Place" live over for a time.

Lastly, in an extended “Beach Read” epilogue entitled “Layover,” all three couples find themselves stuck in the same airport at Christmastime. January and Gus spot Charlie and Nora kissing as they wait at their gate. They then head to a Chili’s Too restaurant and encounter Poppy serenading a bashful Alex with karaoke.

No word as to whether the movies, like the books, will be in conversation with each other.

What about her newest book 'Happy Place'?

"Happy Place," released April 25, is the newest Henry romance to take social media by storm.

"Emily Henry is truly the Taylor Swift of the literature world you can't make this up," one person tweeted alongside a line from "Happy Place."

The book is the first that looks at an established couple as they fall back in love, instead of meeting for the first time. "Happy Place" follows a newly split couple, Harriet and Wyn, as they pretend to still be together for the sake of their friend group.

“Fake dating provides opportunity for some hijinks, but it also is just forcing them to be in a state of emotional vulnerability that is kind of excruciating for their situation,” Henry told

While a film adaptation of the book has not been announced, if history is any indication, it might not be long before Henry has a fourth film in the works.