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[Exclusive] From Webtoon To Live-Action Film: Freaking Romance’s Author Talks About Upcoming Adaptation

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With over 468 million views on WEBTOON, the beloved webcomic Freaking Romance is getting a live-action adaptation, courtesy of Wattpad WEBTOON Studios and Skybound Entertainment.

The popular series has also found success in print, with the first volume of the graphic novel published by WEBTOON Unscrolled, and the second volume being released in June 2024.

We had the opportunity to sit down with the creative mind behind Freaking Romance Aidyn Arroyal, also known as Snailords, to discuss the exciting upcoming adaptation and delve deeper into the world of the comic.

AH: Hello Aidyn. First of all, we’d like to thank you for giving us a chance to interview you! We are huge fans of your work, especially Freaking Romance, and we are happy to have this conversation with you.

Aidyn: Thank you for having me. Delighted to be here. These are very fun questions to answer.

AH: Let me start off by asking, can you tell us a little about yourself? Is there a story behind the name Snailords?

Aidyn: Hi, I’m Aidyn/Snailords. Father of 2 dogs, lover of boba and a simp for anime and manga. I’m non-binary and didn’t know the terms for it 10 years ago. Snails are hermaphrodites, both male and female. I’m also the slowest of them all, I’d take 3 days on laundry. So I combined the non-binary and slowness to Snailords.

AH: Freaking Romance is one of the most widely read webcomics on the WEBTOON app. And now it is getting a live-action adaptation, with Skybound, who was involved in titles like Walking Dead, coming on board as a producer. Can you tell us how you are feeling right now?

Aidyn: It’s wild. If I’m dreaming, no one wake me up. I love The Walking Dead. I can’t wait to see Skybound take on Freaking Romance.

AH: How did you come up with the plot of Freaking Romance? What was your creative thought process behind it?

Aidyn: I like sci-fi stories and shows like Doctor Who. I’ve always been interested in alternate universes, different dimensions, and parallel universe types of stories. I thought it’d be fun to try creating a parallel universe romance, to introduce WEBTOON romance fans to my favorite genres.

AH: The struggles that Zylith goes through while house-hunting in the first chapter seems to be very relatable. Have you ever tried house-hunting and faced similar problems?

Aidyn: Hahahah. I have house-hunted but it was never as bad as Zylith. I was quite lucky with the houses I got to see. Minus one house, there was a horror movie swing in their backyard, kept squeaking, swinging in the wind, like an invisible child was chilling in it. That was about it.

AH: From the synopsis of the live-action, the main character’s name has been changed from Zylith to Lily. What was the reason for this change? Will there be changes in the names of other characters too?

Aidyn: The change was probably to accommodate the mainstream audience. It’s easier to remember familiar names. I’m unsure if there will be changes to other characters’ names as well.

AH: As the creator of Freaking Romance, how much will you be involved in the live-action adaptation?

Aidyn: I would love to be involved. I was told that my inputs were welcomed by the screenwriting team. But they’re the pro. I trust them to do the story justice and more!

AH: The protagonist, Zylith, aspires to be an artist and was gearing up to participate in a webtoon competition. Did you draw inspiration from your own experience of entering a WEBTOON competition for this storyline?

Aidyn: Yes. That was definitely just based on my own experience with WEBTOON, hahahah. I didn’t want to try too hard, coming up with Zylith’s background stories. I just wrote what was the easiest for me. My own experience.

AH: Who would your preferred actors/actresses be to play the main trio in the live-action? And why?

Aidyn: I would love to see Cha Eun Woo as Zelan. I want to be surprised for the other two. I’d love it if a non-binary or very tomboy looking actor/actress could play Vera.

AH: On behalf of all your fans who’ve been waiting for a closure as to what happens to Vera, and especially her relationship with Zylith, in Freaking Romance, can we expect a spin-off or a special one-shot addressing it?

Aidyn: Hm, nothing is impossible. Probably won’t be written by me, though. Hahahahahahahaahah. Freaking Romance is a closed book to me. I’m excited to work on my future projects.

AH: Would you like to say something to your fans, especially the new fans who will be introduced to your work via the live-action adaptation?

Aidyn: I hope they’ll be kidnapped from stressful reality, for the duration of the 1 hour and 30 minutes, or however long the movie will be. I’d love to welcome them into the WEBTOON version of Freaking Romance and my other WEBTOON works as well. Thank you for giving me your time!

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