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Netflix, Mara Brock Akil’s Series Adaptation of Judy Blume’s ‘Forever’ Casts Lovie Simone, Michael Cooper Jr. in Lead Roles

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Mara Brock Akil‘s Netflix series adaptation of the 1975 Judy Blume novel “Forever” has found its two series leads, Variety has learned.

Lovie Simone and Michael Cooper Jr. are set to star in the series, which was originally ordered at Netflix back in 2022. In addition, Regina King has boarded the series as an executive producer and will direct the first episode.

The official logline states the series is “an epic love story of two Black teens exploring romance and their identities through the awkward journey of being each other’s firsts, set in Los Angeles, 2018.”

Simone will star as as Keisha Clark, described as “a young confident, smart, and fiery track star with clear dreams for life after high school.” Cooper will play Justin Edwards, “a young man who is a nerd at heart disguised in an athlete’s body. Justin dreams of playing D1 basketball and achieving more than his successful parents. Love will lead him to who he truly is.”

Simone will next be seen in the Apple TV+ series “Manhunt,” which details the search for John Wilkes Booth after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. She is also known for her roles in shows like “Greenleaf” and “Power Book III: Raising Kanan” as well as features like “Selah & the Spades” and “The Craft: Legacy.”

Cooper is best known for his role in the 2022 film “On the Come Up” as well as “The Inhabitant.” He has also starred in short films like “Infraction” and “Ashes.”

Simone and Cooper Jr. are both repped by Buchwald, with Simone also repped by BDO Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman.

“Forever” was the first series ordered under Brock Akil’s Netflix overall deal, which she signed in 2020. She is adapting the novel for the screen and will also serve as showrunner and executive producer. Blume will also executive produce along with King, Susie Fitzgerald, Erika Harrison, Sara White, Reina King, and Shana C. Waterman.