Royal bride-to-be Meghan Markle has wrapped up her role on the legal series Suits, but her presence on the small screen is just getting started.
Two networks are capitalizing on the popularity of the actress’s upcoming nuptials to Prince Harry.
The Hallmark Channel, known for its formulaic holiday and romance movies, is profiting on its connection to Markle by re-releasing two of her recent films with the company: Dater’s Handbook (2016) and When Sparks Fly (2014). They are being sold as the “Royal Wedding Collection.”
And Lifetime is releasing the biopic Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance, which will debut worldwide May 13 in the lead-up to the highly anticipated wedding May 19.
So much drama, not enough time
The television film’s first draft was written in two weeks, soon after the couple announced their engagement, and combines dramatized private moments with known events during what’s depicted as a fairy-tale courtship.
“There is so much drama in the real story we didn’t have to make a lot up,” co-writer Terrence Coli told Reuters news agency.
The network has produced a number of low-budget, mostly unauthorized celebrity biographical films for the small screen including one involving Harry’s older brother: William and Kate: The Movie (2011).
The not-so-royal treatment
However, not everyone is as reverent.
Markle’s ex-husband, Trevor Engelson, is reportedly developing a comedy pilot for Fox focusing on a man with kids whose ex-wife marries into the Royal Family. Engelson has not spoken publicly about their divorce and the characters are fictional, according to Deadline.com.
He’s not the only one who isn’t exactly fawning.
L.A.-based TV writer-producer Gary Janetti, whose credits include Will & Grace and Family Guy, has amassed more than 300,000 Instagram followers thanks to his biting take on the royal-to-be — and a fictitious account dishing out sass from young Prince George.
Janetti has been posting real headlines about the Royal Family, comically captioning them from the biting perspective of Prince William and Kate’s four-year-old-son. The made-up quotes portray George as a self-centred, jealous toddler who makes fun of Markle’s clothes, class and career.
‘People responded instantly’
“Everything about the Royal Family, especially now, is so saccharine and fake,” Janetti told the New York Times in an article published earlier this week. “There are so many puff pieces. I think George would be horrifically jealous. The spotlight has shifted off him onto her. And she’s American, which he would abhor. And she’s a B actress.”
Janetti said it’s “a bummer if someone thinks I personally don’t like her,” because that wasn’t his intention; rather, he realized how much fun he could have telling stories from the young prince’s make-believe point of view. “People responded instantly” when he brought Markle into the picture, he said.
While some royal fans are expressing their disapproval in the comments section about ascribing a spiteful tongue to a child, many find the captions refreshingly funny.
If Janetti’s take is more your cup of tea than Hallmark or Lifetime when it comes to the royal couple, the writer said the wedding will likely be the “last episode of the season.”
“We’re building toward something. But I don’t know how it’s going to end.”
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