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We’re excited for Midnight Sun to hit theaters this month. The romantic drama, starring Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, follows the story of Katie Price, a young woman suffering from a rare genetic condition. Basically, her skin is incredibly sensitive to sunlight. As a result, Katie can’t leave the house without risking her life.

Because she has to stay indoors, Katie misses out on much of life. Things take a turn for the better when lifelong crush Charlie asks her out on a date. The two begin a relationship, seeing each other at night. Just like in every good love story, however, problems arise as Katie’s illness gets in the way of her happiness.

With so much conflict and a love story for the ages, Midnight Sun promises to be something special. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this story onscreen, however. When the trailer for Midnight Sun initially premiered, many fans noted the similarities between the premise of this film and the premise of last year’s YA drama Everything, Everything. While there are some striking similarities between the two, Midnight Sun is inspired by a completely different movie altogether.

Midnight Sun Is Based On A Japanese Film

[Credit: Open Road Films]

Midnight Sun is based on Japanese film Taiyō no Uta, which translates to Song of the Sun, but since its release in 2006 it has also become known as Midnight Sun. The original film follows Kaoru, who, much like Katie in the upcoming American version, suffers from xeroderma pigmentosum. With the exception of the setting and character names, the story is essentially the same in both versions of the film.

Taiyō no Uta was a hit in Japan, as was its soundtrack, which features several songs by Japanese singer Yui, who portrays Kaoru in the film. Interestingly, the fictional Kaoru shares many traits with Yui, most notably the fact that Kaoru is gifted musically. In comparison, Scott Speer’s upcoming American version will also use Bella Thorne’s musical talents for the character of Katie who, just like Kaoru, can play the guitar.

We’ll refrain from giving away too much about the plot of Taiyō no Uta because, considering the similarities, it’s more than likely that the American version will be a direct remake and we don’t want to spoil the ending.

And There’s More…

Did you know the American Midnight Sun remake isn’t the only remake of the original Japanese film? Following the success of the original, a Japanese television mini-series was also commissioned in 2006. For that one, Erika Sawajiri played Kaoru and Takayuki Yamada played Koji — her childhood crush. An anime version of the story was also produced.

The premise seems to be a winning formula in Japan, but it has also proven to work well in America. Many successful YA films with a similar premise released in the United States over the past few years, from Everything, Everything to The Fault In our Stars, so it’s likely that Midnight Sun will also be a hit with audiences.

Midnight Sun hits theaters on March 23.