The masterful TV universes Fleabag and Normal People have crossed paths time and time again. Andrew Scott’s Hot Priest listened to Connell (Paul Mescal) and Marianne’s (Daisy Edgar-Jones) confessions; Paul Mescal starred in a music video directed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge; and today, one more collaboration hits the list. Mescal and Scott are teaming up for a movie called Extreme Hotness.
Not really, though that’s what we’d expect a movie to be titled, coming from the two of them. The film they’re actually working on, from Weekend director Andrew Haigh, is called Strangers. Scott and Mescal—who seem to be fast friends, thanks to their bevy of collabs—will lead the project, which is loosely based on the ghost story of the same name written by Taichi Yamada.
While some other details have been revealed—Claire Foy and Jamie Bell are also tapping in for the project, it follows ghost parents—after the news broke, the internet exploded in questions. (And celebrations, of course, too.) The main inquiry: Will Mescal and Scott fall in love in the film?
We can keep crossing our fingers for the answer to be yes (Hot Priest, answer our prayers!), but let’s do some deeper searching on this front. First, peeking into the storyline, there’s clearly room for romance. Scott will play Adam, a lonely screenwriter confused by his mysterious neighbor Harry (Mescal), who he meets by “a chance encounter,” per Variety. If that’s not rom-com terminology, I don’t know what is.
Apparently, said chance encounter “punctures the rhythm of [Adam’s] everyday life.” Again, ding ding, we have a love story blooming! “As Adam and Harry get closer”—my heart rate just sped up—“Adam is pulled back to his childhood home where he discovers that his long-dead parents (Foy and Bell) are both living and look the same age as the day they died over 30 years ago.”
To me, this sounds like Harry is helping Adam through some trauma. The book actually seems to give us some answers—but if you don’t want the movie spoiled, don’t read the next sentence. In the novel Strangers, Harry’s role actually belongs to a woman named Kei, and the pair do share a passionate romance. It is a ghost story, though, so all is not as it seems! Still, from what we can tell, yes, Andrew Scott and Paul Mescal will fall in love (or, at least, have a fling) in Strangers.
Fear not, dear Andrew Scott/Paul Mescal shippers—your romance awaits. No need to tweet “but is it gay?” anymore, because it appears to be.
And here’s more evidence: the film’s director, Andrew Haigh, already released the monumental film Weekend a few years ago, which follows two gay men in an evolving relationship after a one-night stand. He’s also the director behind HBO's Looking, which followed contemporary gay men in San Francisco.
There’s no production schedule for Strangers yet, unfortunately, which means we’ll have to wait a bit to see what really happens.