Netflix Developing Young Adult Adaptation of Amber Dermont’s ‘The Starboard Sea’

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The Starboard Sea Netflix Adaptation in Works cleanup

Continuing Netflix’s substantial success in the Young Adult genre, Netflix is reportedly eying an adaptation of Amber Dermont’s 2012 novel, The Starboard Sea.

Per GoodReads, here’s the official description of the 2012 novel:

“Set against the backdrop of the 1987 stock market collapse, The Starboard Sea is an examination of the abuses of class privilege, the mutability of sexual desire, the thrill and risk of competitive sailing and the adult cost of teenage recklessness. It is a powerful and compelling novel about a young man navigating the depths of his emotional life, finding his moral center, trying to forgive himself, and accepting the gift of love.”

The novel became a New York Times bestseller back in 2012 and was featured in the NY Times’ most notable books list for the year.

the starboard sea amber demont book cover

The Starboard Sea Book Cover

Netflix Reportedly Developing Adaptation of Book

The news of a Netflix adaptation in the works came in an LA Times article looking into Netflix’s efforts in the young adult space, looking at their current slate of movies and series designed to be “the new CW for Gen Z”. The article also looked into Netflix’s expansion into events such as the recently held Poguelandia concert in Los Angeles.

The quote in full from the Los Angeles Times article is as follows:

“Netflix’s slate includes new youth-oriented programs such as “XO, Kitty,” a “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” spinoff; “One Piece,” a manga-based pirate adventure; and “My Life With the Walter Boys,” based on the Ali Novak book of the same name. New YA films include “True Spirit,” about a real-life sailor; and “Damsel,” starring Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”). In a deal not previously announced, Netflix has a project in development inspired by Amber Dermont’s book “The Starboard Sea.”

Beyond the passing mention in the article, of course, details are very light beyond the fact it’s in development. Whether it’ll take the form of a series or a movie is unclear and no talent has been attached.

A copyright filing from 2022 suggests that Anonymous Content will be behind the adaptation for Netflix.

The subsidiary company of Propaganda Films has teamed with Netflix on many projects in the past and has a few in development too. Prior projects include Maniac, 13 Reasons Why and The OA. Upcoming TV projects include Dumped, Boy Swallows Universe, Overlooked, East of Eden, and The 39 Steps. On the movie side, they’ve worked on Worth, The Stranger, and The Midnight Sky for Netflix.

We’ll watch for any additional developments on The Starboard Sea as and when we get them.

Let us know in the comments if you’d like to see an adaptation of The Starboard Sea in the comments below.

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Founder of What's on Netflix and based in Norwich in the United Kingdom, Kasey has been tracking the comings and goings of the Netflix library for a decade having started the site in 2013. Contact: