So many of our favorite scripted shows were novels first — like The Vampire Diaries, True Blood, Pretty Little Liars, and Game of Thrones. TV shows that aren’t literary adaptations actually seem few and far between! Does Star-Crossed follow suit?
Strictly speaking, Star-Crossed is not based on a book, although the show's title, episode names, and basic plot contain many references to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Nods to an influential work do not an adaptation make, though!
“We didn’t go out of our way to make any other Shakespearean parallels in the series,” Executive Producer and series creator Meredith Averill tells Curiata. “But I’m sure if you wanted to go looking for some, you could find them.”
Meredith developed the series after seeing a trailer created by a Spanish production company. "The original idea I can't take credit for," Meredith says. "But we got to develop the whole world around it, which was a fun process."
While the working title of the series was Oxygen, the title was eventually changed to Star-Crossed. The name may be a little misleading; a 2011 young adult fantasy-romance novel by Josephine Angelini is also called Starcrossed. While the two share some overarching traits — marketed toward a similar age group, based on a centuries-old tale, the title of the work — the novel is a modern retelling of the story of Helen of Troy set in Nantucket, Massachusetts. It's several steps away from a sci-fi drama set in Louisiana.
Many have compared Star-Crossed to beloved teen drama Roswell — and in many ways, Star-Crossed is Roswell's contemporary. They even technically air on the same network, since Roswell spent time on both UPN and the WB, which merged to form the CW. But a world with only one kind of alien-human high school love story is not a world that we want… and besides, in Star-Crossed the Atrians are (mostly) living publicly as aliens, whereas Roswell's extraterrestrials have to live in secret. It makes a huge difference; after all, one of the huge plot-drivers in Star-Crossed are the Atrians and humans learning to share one planet.
Short answer: Star-Crossed was developed as a TV series, and isn't adapted from anything, at least not intentionally — but like everything, it has its influences.
Are you surprised to learn that Star-Crossed isn't based on a book? Let us know your thoughts below!