After 10-year journey, The Last Letter From Your Lover arrives for Netflix debut

The Last Letter to Your Lover, image courtesy of Netflix
The Film Farm-produced romantic feature launches as a Netflix original this week in most international territories following incredible buzz.

The release of the Netflix original film The Last Letter From Your Lover represents the culmination of a 10-year journey for The Film Farm. 

The Toronto-based production company, co-founded by Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss more than two decades ago, optioned the rights to New York Times bestselling author and journalist Jojo Moyes’ novel around 10 years ago.

“We both read the novel and couldn’t put it down,” Urdl told Playback Daily. “We just saw the film in the story.”

At the time, it was one of the first of Moyes’ 11 books to be optioned. Other producers subsequently picking up the adaptation rights to Moyes other novels, including Me Before You.

Taking place in two, interwoven time periods, The Last Letter From Your Lover film tells the story of an ambitious journalist who discovers a trove of secret love letters in 2003 from the 1960s and becomes determined to solve the mystery of the forbidden affair at their centre.

After optioning the film rights, Urdl and Weiss attached Canada-U.S. scribe Esta Spalding to adapt the 2008 book as a feature film. Spalding, who has worked both in the Canadian and U.S. system throughout her career, has recent credits including On Becoming a God in Central Florida.

The project was in development for several years and received funding from the Harold Greenberg Fund, before The Film Farm partnered with StudioCanal in the U.K. (While the project was partly developed in Canada, it is officially a U.K. production.)

Through that connection, they also met Pete Czernin and Graham Broadbent, principals at London-based Blue Print Pictures, whose credits include In Bruges, The Best Exotic Marigold films and Oscar-nominated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

While in development, Urdl and Weiss said they really leant into the romance of the novel – and that’s what piqued Blue Print Pictures’ interest, as the company had been looking to make a sweeping romantic film.

With StudioCanal and Blue Print on board, the producers set about packaging the project, first adding Augustine Frizzell, who had recently directed the pilot of Euphoria, and later a cast led by Felicity Jones, Callum Turner, Joe Alwyn, Nabhaan Rizwan and Shailene Woodley.

Production began in October 2019, with Weiss noting that – given the dual timelines – it was like shooting two separate movies. The first block of shooting took place over six days in Majorca, Spain, which doubled for the French Riviera. Filming then relocated to London for the remainder of the shoot, which ran for 44 days in total. Netflix acquired worldwide rights (excluding the U.K.) shortly after filming began.

The feature will debut on Netflix on Friday (July 23), and receive its U.K. release through StudioCanal on Aug. 6.

The Film Farm’s other credits include Away From HerAdoration, The CaptiveGuest of HonourChloe and Falls Around Her.

The Last Letter From Your Lover is the first of their projects to be released internationally as a Netflix original. The trailer has garnered more than 2.3 million views since it was posted in May.