The Secret Connection Between Harry Potter And “Love, Simon”

"It made it all the way up to J.K. Rowling," reveals director Greg Berlanti.

NewNowNext chatted with the cast and director of Love, Simon, the groundbreaking gay teen rom-com hitting theaters on Friday.

Adapting Becky Albertalli’s hit YA novel Simon vs. the Homosapien Agenda meant trimming some things, but as star Nick Robinson reveals in the exclusive video below, the film is filled with little Easter eggs for fans of the book (including plenty of Oreos).

20th Century Fox

There’s also a nod to perhaps the most famous YA series of all time: A Hufflepuff sticker on Simon’s backpack. But as director Greg Berlanti reveals to us—and his cast—that took some serious doing. “To get Harry Potter approved, it made it all the way up to JK Rowling, and she approved it,” reveals Berlanti.

Below, Berlanti, Robinson and co-stars Alexandra Shipp, Josh Duhamel, and Katherine Langford take us behind the scenes of this inspiring movie.

Love, Simon arrives in theaters March 16.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.