Should Netflix have recasted John Ambrose?

If you’re a movie-loving teenager like me, you’ve probably seen Netflix’s recent film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You. Personally, I loved this movie. The cinematic quality wasn’t great, but it was that perfect guilty pleasure rom-com that can turn the harshest movie critics into giggly teenage girls. But, like most viewers, I quickly noticed that Lara Jean’s newest suitor, John Ambrose McClaren, looked awfully different in the second film than he did in the first one.

The end of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before features a mid-credits scene in which a teenage John Ambrose shows up on Lara Jean’s doorstep. In this scene, John Ambrose is played by Jordan Burtchett. However, soon after the announcement of a sequel to To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Netflix announced that they had recast the role of John Ambrose to be played by Jordan Fisher.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Jordan Fisher. The young actor and emerging Broadway star perfectly fit the role of John Ambrose McClaren. Still, why was it necessary for Netflix to recast this character?

Netflix never actually revealed why they recast the role. Most people are assuming that once a sequel was confirmed, Netflix wanted a more well-known face to compete for the hand of Lara Jean. Burtchett is a relatively unknown actor, while Fisher has been featured in Liv and Maddie, Teen Wolf, Dancing with the Stars and Hamilton. If Netflix was looking for a bigger name, they definitely hit the mark with Fisher.

The move critic part of me wishes that Netflix had kept Burtchett as John Ambrose for the sake of continuity. However, the rom-com-loving part of me believes Fisher’s look and performance perfectly captured the character. If I could go back in time, I would have casted Fisher as John Ambrose from the get-go. Netflix should have considered the fact that a sequel was likely going to be made and should have been more careful while casting their teenage John Ambrose. If Netflix had done this, they could have maintained the continuity of the character and featured the better actor in both films.