Joey King Netflix Movie ‘Uglies’: Everything We Know So Far

Joey King's upcoming Netflix movie 'Uglies' is expected to land on Netflix in 2023.

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Joey King Uglies Netflix

Continuing Netflix’s dominance in the YA novel adaptation space, Netflix is adapting Uglies into a feature film that has been in post-production for the past several months. Headlined by The Kissing Booth’s Joey King, a long-time fan of the Scott Westerfield book, we’re keeping track of everything you need to know about Uglies on Netflix.

Netflix’s Uglies will be directed by McG (Joseph McGinty Nichol), whose credits include Charlie’s Angels, Terminator Salvation, The Babysitter, Rim of the World, and many more. The script for Uglies was penned by Emmy nominated screenwriters Krista Vernoff (Grey’s Anatomy, Shameless, Charmed) and Vanessa Taylor (The Shape of Water, Game of Thrones, Divergent).

Uglies Creator Team Netflix

According to Deadline‘s sources, lead star Joey King has been a fan of the series for a long time and brought the series to Netflix –called them, got them to read the script and the book, and then King got Netflix to option it.

Joey King notably signed a first-look deal with Netflix in summer 2021 for upcoming projects from her production company, All The King’s Horses.

Here’s everything else we know about Netflix’s Uglies:


What’s the plot of Uglies?

As mentioned above, Netflix’s Uglies will be an adaptation of Scott Westerfield’s international bestselling novel of the same name that was first published in 2005. It later spawned many sequels.

The story is set in a world in which a compulsory operation at 16 wipes out physical differences and makes everyone pretty by conforming to an ideal standard of beauty. Here’s the plot synopsis from Amazon:

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever.

Uglies Book Cover

Uglies Book Cover


Who is cast in Uglies?

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Joey King is an extremely familiar face on Netflix now thanks to her starring role in The Kissing Booth trilogy. In Uglies, King will be playing the role of Tally Youngblood, a character she has wanted to play for years since reading the books over a decade ago.

While on the red carpet for David Leitch’s Bullet Train, King was asked about Uglies and had the following response;

It was very exciting for me. The Uglies books meant a lot to me as a kid. Being able to make that and be the lead of those movies and also have so much fun while doing it–what a dream realized! I was 11 years old when I fell in love with the books.

On October 18th, 2021 three further cast members have announced for Uglies. Brianne Tju, of Amazon’s I Know What You Did Last Summer, Chase Stokes of Outer Banks, and Keith Powers of The Tomorrow War have been cast in unconfirmed roles.

uglies cast netflix

Below is the full cast list of Uglies;

  • Joey King – Tally Youngblood
  • Laverne Cox – TBA
  • Chase Stokes – TBA
  • Brianne Tju – TBA
  • Jillian Murray – Ellie Youngblood
  • Jan Luis Castellanos – Croy
  • Kevin Miles – Auryn
  • Keith Powers – TBA
  • Alex D. Jennings – Garbo
  • Kelly Gale – Sage
  • Robert Palmer Watkins – Sol Youngblood
  • Jessica Galinas – General Clayton
  • Moose Ali Khan – Prime Minister Morrell
  • Zamani Wilder – Astrix
  • Jordan Sherley – An
  • Ash Maeda – Dex
  • Brett Hoyle – Nico Rodrigo
  • Jay DeVon Johnson – Az
  • Joe Sterrey – Fox
  • Jason Parks – Cael
  • Kate McSweeney – Emilin

What’s the production status of Uglies?

Official Production Status: Post-Production (Last Updated: 03/08/2022)

In 2021 in issue 1265 of Production Weekly it was reported that production of Uglies would begin in October 2021, and last until January 2022.

Filming actually wrapped up earlier than expected. On December 19th, Joey King posted on Instagram that filming had finished.

The caption reads as follows:

“Can’t believe I spent the last several months playing a character I’ve dreamt about for 10 years. See you in Uglyville folks. #ThatsAWrap”

joey king filming update uglies

Scott Westerfeld also confirmed that filming had concluded but added there’s a long way to go.


What’s the Netflix release date for Uglies?

Netflix has yet to announce a release date for Uglies and despite being in post-production for the past several months, we’re not expecting to see a 2022 release. Instead, we expect an early 2023 release, sometime in Q1.


Are you looking forward to the release of Uglies on Netflix? Let us know in the comments below.

Joey King Netflix Movie ‘Uglies’: Everything We Know So Far

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Tigran is our resident previews writer. He works on collecting everything known about upcoming Netflix Original projects.