Hollywood has long adapted popular young adult novels to both the big and small screens, with the past few years seeing in a trend of dystopian futuristic societies in particular. However, realistic fiction stories in the YA genre are perennially popular and, as young adult properties move more toward television, one such adaptation in Netflix’s upcoming drama series 13 Reasons Why. Based on Jay Asher’s 2007 novel of the same name, the series follows high school student Clay (Don’t Breathe‘s Dylan Minnette) as he listens to cassette tapes recorded by his classmate Hannah Baker (newcomer Katherine Langford) prior to her suicide.
The series is executive produced by pop singer/actress Selena Gomez (Spring Breakers) and Asher’s book is being adapted to television by playwright Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal). Tom McCarthy, director of the Academy Award-winning Spotlight, is set to direct the first two episodes of the series. After a brief teaser for 13 Reasons Why was released by Netflix earlier this year, the streaming service debuted a full trailer for the series.
Netflix released the full, almost two-minute long trailer [above] today for 13 Reasons Why, ahead of the show’s premiere on March 31. The tagline accompanying the video asks, “Why would a dead girl lie?” Netflix additionally released a poster for 13 Reasons Why, which you can check out below:
The first portion of the trailer works to set up the main premise of the series – namely that Clay had a relationship with Hannah prior to her suicide, and that she recorded a series of cassette tapes which are delivered to each of the people she believes drove her to kill herself. As Hannah explains in voiceover, “I’m about to tell you the story of my life, more specifically why my life ended, and if you’re listening to this tape, you’re one of the reasons why.” After that, what unfolds is the mystery of why Hannah committed suicide and how each person played a part in it.
Based on the trailer, 13 Reasons Why looks like it will be a compelling teen drama mixed with plenty of mystery that will appeal to viewers even outside the prerequisite teenage audience. Additionally, as the book deals with themes like slut-shaming and sexual assault, 13 Reasons Why will address a number of issues that are perhaps more talked about now than in 2007 when Asher’s novel first hit shelves.
The series additionally stars Brandon Flynn (BrainDead), Christian Navarro (Vinyl), Alisha Boe (Paranormal Activity 4), Ross Butler (Riverdale), Justin Prentice (Awkward), Sosie Bacon (Scream: The TV Series), Miles Heizer (Parenthood), Devin Druid (Louder than Bombs), and newcomer Michele Selene Ang as Clay and Hannah’s fellow classmates. Of course, it remains to be seen whether 13 Reasons Why will be another dramatic hit for Netflix, but it appears to be – at least – a compelling adaptation of Asher’s best-selling novel.
13 Reasons Why season 1 debuts in its entirety March 31, 2017 on Netflix.