The Flatshare team making The Road Trip rom-com for Paramount+

Monday 27th November 2023, 2:15pm by Jay Richardson

The Road Trip. Image shows left to right: Addie (Emma Appleton), Dylan (Laurie Davidson), Marcus (David Jonsson)

Paramount+ has ordered its second romantic comedy series based on a Beth O'Leary novel.

Starring Everything I Know About Love's Emma Appleton, Laurie Davidson (Jack Absolute Flies Again) and Rye Lane breakout David Jonsson, The Road Trip has been likened to Planes, Trains And Automobiles meets Normal People.

Also featuring Isabella Laughland (Chubby Funny, Ghosts) and Angus Imrie (Fleabag) and based on O'Leary's 2021 book of the same name, filming has begun in Bristol on the six 45-minute episodes, with more shooting to come in Gran Canaria, Spain.

The commission follows Paramount+'s adaptation of O'Leary's 2020 novel The Flatshare which aired last year, starring Jessica Brown Findlay and Anthony Welsh.

Described as a "witty, contemporary, emotionally complex romantic comedy about giving love another shot", spanning class-divided love, a co-dependent bromance and a knotty but affectionate sisterly bond, The Road Trip explores whether someone can be the right person at the wrong time and asks is there ever a future in returning to a past love?

Late twenty-somethings Addie (Appleton) and her sister, Deb (Laughland) are on a road trip to a friend's wedding in Spain, when they are forced to share a ride with Addie's ex, Dylan (Davidson) and his irrepressible best friend, Marcus (Jonsson), as well as complete stranger Rodney (Imrie).

With nowhere to hide but a creaky campervan, the group must confront their buried history as secrets and revelations cause many a bump in the road. Intercutting with Addie and Dylan's former relationship, which began as a holiday romance, everyone has a different idea of why they broke up and who was to blame.

Lead writers on the series are erstwhile comedians and regular collaborators Matilda Wnek (The News Quiz) and Ryan O'Sullivan (Pick Me Up), who wrote on the second series of BBC One submarine drama Vigil, along with Phoebe Eclair-Powell (Two Weeks To Live) and Waleed Akhtar (Sketchtopia).

Everything I Know About Love's China Moo-Young is lead director of The Road Trip, with Stella Corradi, whose credits include Killing Eve, also helming.

Nikki Wilson (Dr Who) produces for 42, the production company that made The Flatshare, with Kingsley Hoskins (The Flatshare) the co-producer. Wnek, O'Sullivan, Miriam Brent, Rory Aitken and Eleanor Moran are the executive producers.

"I am so thrilled to finally be able to shout about this news!" said O'Leary. "42 and Paramount+ were the dream team behind The Flatshare series, so it's wonderful to know that The Road Trip is in such safe, skilled hands. From my very first glimpse at an early script for this show, I knew it was going to be something really special, and now that we have our incredible cast lined up, I just cannot wait to see The Road Trip brought to life."

Brent, Aitken and Moran added: "We are so excited to be setting off on The Road Trip. It's a unique privilege to be trusted with a second Beth O'Leary bestseller, and Ryan and Matilda have done an extraordinary job of translating the hilarious and poignant narrative to the screen. With the brilliant China Moo-Young in the driving seat as lead director and such a wonderful cast, it's going to be one hell of a ride!"

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