Red, White, and Royal Blue’s trailer is a treat for book lovers

Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry in Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue.
Taylor Zakhar Perez as Alex Claremont-Diaz and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry in Prime Video’s Red, White & Royal Blue. /

The wait is over – on July 6th, the much-anticipated trailer for the film adaptation of Casey McQuiston’s 2019 queer rom-com novel, Red, White, and Royal Blue (RWRB), was released online.


The film’s main cast, first announced back in June of 2022, includes Taylor Zakhar Perez as First Son of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz, and Nicholas Galitzine as Prince Henry of Wales. Directed by Matthew Lopez and written by Lopez and Ted Malawer, the film will be available for streaming on Prime Video just over a month from now, on August 11th.

Ever since the teaser poster and the movie’s August release date were simultaneously unveiled on April 26th, and even well before that, book fans have been clamoring for their first glimpse of Alex and Henry’s love story.

It really seemed that for a prolonged period of time, the official social media accounts for this film couldn’t post anything as innocuous as a birthday tribute for the author or any of the creatives without every other fan comment being a desperate plea for a trailer drop – and as someone who absolutely devoured this book in June of 2019, shortly after it first hit bookshelves, believe me, I get it.

I still remember summer four years ago, being in the car with my younger sister, taking turns reading excerpts of RWRB out loud to our older sister’s new puppy. It’s been a favorite of both of ours in the years since – just last Christmas, she even surprised me with the 2022 hardcover Collector’s Edition, featuring original artwork and an additional chapter, this time from Henry’s perspective – and we’ve kept each other updated on any and all developments related to this film adaptation in the last year.

She and I have also debated the merits of rereading the novel sometime shortly before August 11th (it’s been a couple years since either of us have revisited it in full), versus skipping out on the reread and letting the film just be its own entity. Such a strategy would allow the film to be judged not by its similarities to or departures from the source material, but by simply how well it plays as a queer rom-com movie (a genre that’s still in woefully short supply).

This, as any fans of a book with an onscreen adaptation on the horizon will know, is the ultimate question. Whenever a cherished novel gets condensed into a two-hour movie, it’s the type of situation that naturally invites a mix of apprehension and trepidatious optimism from its fans, because while we really do want the movie version to be great, we’re also leery to risk having the legacy of the novel we love so much tarnished by an underwhelming, unfaithful (or worse, problematic) interpretation.

After viewing this trailer, however, I feel more assured than ever that Lopez’s take on RWRB will be a pretty faithful adaptation, on top of just being a fun, heartwarming, romantic summer movie.

Case in point – upon my first watch of the trailer, I immediately zeroed in on the clips depicting Alex’s New Year’s Eve party, and, more importantly, his and Henry’s impromptu kiss at said party. This is easily my favorite scene in the entire book (it also very well might be my favorite first kiss in any book, period), and so I was delighted to discover that this moment, at least as it’s presented in the trailer, has basically been ripped from the page.

Now, as both a book reader and a movie watcher, there are certainly instances where I’m excited (or at the very least, morbidly curious) to see how a written story gets modified for a modern movie or TV audience. Netflix’s Bridgerton is a recent example of a series whose second season I actually preferred over the second Julia Quinn novel upon which it was based. Film and literature are two different mediums, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses, and I get that.


With this first kiss moment from McQuiston’s novel, I’m going to be totally honest – I’m extremely happy that Lopez and the rest of his creative team took such heavy inspiration from the original words on the page when constructing this pivotal scene, and I seriously can’t imagine this milestone between Alex and Henry playing out any other way. The old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ certainly applies here.

In fact, there are quite a few examples of equally direct book imagery being included in the trailer – the NYE kiss is only the tip of the iceberg. For anyone who’s curious, I’d encourage them to take a perusal of this wonderfully comprehensive thread on Twitter:

This thread demonstrates just how many of the first glimpses of footage correlate with moments from the book itself, and just how much of the essence of each character has been retained by the actors portraying them (aside from Alex’s sister, June, who makes no appearance here and is rumored to have been an unfortunate casualty of the onscreen adaptation process).

What all this tells me is that the people who crafted this movie love the book just as much as we all do, and that’s all we can ask for, really, so I think it’s safe to say we’re in good hands.

Over the next month, I’ll, like many book fans, do my best to keep my expectations in check, but who am I kidding?

This feels exactly like the kind of adaptation we’ve all been waiting for.

Red, White, and Royal Blue premieres on Prime Video starting August 11th, 2023.

Next. 5 m/m romance books to read for Pride Month. dark