Jennifer Lopez’s Movie ‘The Boy Next Door’ Was Inspired by a Real-Life Event

Jennifer Lopez has appeared in many movies about love and relationships. Her usual movie style took an interesting turn when she appeared in the thriller The Boy Next Door. There are many twists in turns in this movie and it’s sure to leave you on the edge of your seat. Screenwriter Barbara Curry reveals this movie was inspired by a real-life event.

Jennifer Lopez in ‘The Boy Next Door’

Ryan Guzman and Jennifer Lopez embrace during an awards show
Ryan Guzman and Jennifer Lopez | Lester Cohen/PMA2014/WireImage

The Boy Next Door is different from the movies you’re probably used to seeing Lopez in. Instead of a feel-good romantic comedy like The Wedding Planner, this film is a thriller. Lopez plays Claire, a recently separated woman who is seduced by the 19-year-old boy next door (Noah), played by 9-1-1 actor Ryan Guzman. Afterward, Noah becomes obsessed with Claire. The film includes a very steamy scene between Lopez and Guzman’s characters that had people talking.

During an interview with the BUILD series, Lopez describes the movie as a “crazy, popcorn thriller.” She shared her thoughts after receiving the script.

“For me, not only being the actress, but also producing the film, when I read the script, I knew we could make a movie that was something that could make people kind of like be on the edge of their seats and be that real nail biter, have those good scares.”

‘The Boy Next Door’ was inspired by a real-life event

During an interview with Cosmopolitan, screenwriter Barbara Curry reveals the movie was based on a real-life event. However, Curry says the real story is “much tamer” than what appeared in the film. Curry used to pass by a home she admired during her runs. She told her husband about the house, and they considered buying it after it went up for sale.

However, Curry says she found out a boy her son went to school with lived across the street from the home. According to her, the boy often got into trouble. She was concerned that if they purchased the house, her son might be influenced by this boy.  

“This boy was kind of a bad boy,” says Curry. “He was always getting in trouble, possibly getting kicked out of school, you know, stuff like that. And I wondered, ‘If we lived in this house, that boy is going to live right across the street from my son, and I bet you they’re going to become friends, and will this boy influence my son?’”

Barbara Curry’s ‘really interesting idea’

Curry says she and her husband decided not to purchase the home. However, that incident inspired her to come up with the idea for The Boy Next Door. She was inspired to write a script about a newly separated woman’s unexpected romantic relationship with the boy next door.

“Then I thought it was a really interesting idea, this concept that a neighborhood boy could cause conflict and drive a wedge between a family,” says Curry in her Cosmopolitan interview.

“The first few drafts of [the movie] focused on a 12-year-old boy and a mother’s trial of trying to get her son out of this boy’s clutches, and gradually, it became something else. Then there was the decision to have [the two characters] sleep together. Of course, then I had to make the boy a lot older.”

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