The coming-of-age tale Love, Simon hits theaters on March 16 and critics are already singing its praises.Love, Simon follows the life of a teenager named Simon, who has a fallen for an anonymous classmate online. On top of tackling first love and typical high school woes, Simon also has a secret: no one knows that he’s gay. The film is an adaptation of Becky Albertalli’s novel “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda,” and is directed by acclaimed TV producer Greg Berlanti.
Critics have hailed the film as a huge step forward for LGBTQ+ representation and have even called it a landmark teen classic. Although he hasn’t directed many films, Greg Berlanti seems to have knocked it out of the park with Love, Simon. The film is only Berlanti’s third as a director, but he is one of the most successful producers in television. In preparation for Love, Simon, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about Greg Berlanti’s impressive career.
Berlanti grew up in Rye, New York, but not much is known about his early years. He attended Northwestern University in the early ‘90s and graduated in 1994. He began his television career in 1999 when he was hired as a co-executive producer on Dawson’s Creek. This began his long-standing professional relationship with The WB, which would later become The CW.
During his tenure on Dawson Creek, Berlanti wrote and directed his first film, The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy. Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain and Zach Braff led the cast, but it didn’t land with critics. It was, however, a solid outing from the first time director.
He continued to work on Dawson’s Creek until 2002 when he left to work on the TV series Everwood. Berlanti stayed on as an executive producer for the length of the series (until 2006), but he also worked on the show Jack and Bobby from ’04 to ’05. Berlanti made the leap to network television in 2006, when he produced the ABC drama Brothers and Sisters. The family drama ran for five season and it was the first of several shows Berlanti produced for ABC. In 2007, he signed on as an executive producer on Dirty, Sexy, Money. Unfortunately, ABC cancelled the show after 2 seasons.
A year later, Berlanti created and produced the series Eli Stone. This marked his first team-up with fellow producer Marc Guggenheim. Eli Stone lasted for 2 seasons, but Berlanti formed relationships during production that would later shape his career. Berlanti jumped back into the director’s chair in 2010, when he directed the film Life as We Know It. Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel led the cast, but again the film failed to charm critics. That same year, Berlanti served as an executive producer on the short-lived superhero family drama, No Ordinary Family. He waded into the world of DC Comics in 2011, when he penned the script for the big screen adaptation of Green Lantern. Critics and audiences panned the film, which currently sits at 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.
But things turned around. In 2012, Berlanti teamed up with his Eli Stone co-workers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kresiberg. Together, they created The CW’s hit Arrow. Critics and fans adored the first two seasons and the series spawned an entire universe of DC superheroes dubbed “The Arrowverse,” The Flash was Arrow’s first spinoff, but far from the last. As of this year, Greg Berlanti oversees all the Arrowverse shows including Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning. The CW series also generated 3 animated shows: Vixen, Constantine and Freedom Fighters: The Ray.
Overseeing the Arrowverse is no small feat, but Berlanti didn’t stop there. He also serves as executive producer on the Archie Comics based show Riverdale. Ever since Berlanti co-created Arrow, his record on The CW has been almost flawless. He had one small hiccup with The Tomorrow People in 2014; however, the show just fell through the cracks. In addition to his CW shows, Berlanti is also an executive producer on the NBC series Blindspot.
In 2017, Greg Berlanti married former LA Galaxy star Robbie Rogers. A year prior, the couple had their first son via surrogacy. On the day of his wedding, Berlanti shared the following on Instagram:
“There are two decisions I’ve made in my life I’ve never been more sure of or that have made me happier — the first was becoming a Dad, the second is happening today with this man.”
Berlanti’s body of work is impressive, but his personality and warmth have propelled his career forward. He is adored by his co-workers and continues to foster long and healthy professional relationships. Other than Love, Simon, Berlanti is currently working on many projects including the DCTV show Titans and the ABC series Deception. He is also producing Riverdale spin-off The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which is a new take on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
See Love, Simon when it hits theaters on March 16, 2018.