Why Selena Gomez Signed on to David Henrie’s ‘This Is The Year’: ‘It Was Supernatural’

August 28, 2020, marks a big day for Selena Gomez. Not only does her song with Blackpink, “Ice Cream,” drop, but her latest film, This Is The Year, debuts. And her former Wizards of Waverly Place co-star, David Henrie, directed the film. Here’s why he calls her involvement with the movie “supernatural.”

Selena Gomez and David Henrie starred in ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’ 

Selena Gomez & David Henrie on "Wizards of Waverly Place" (2007-2012)
Selena Gomez and David Henrie in ‘Wizards of Waverly Place’| Ron Tom/Disney Channel – Getty Images

While Gomez and Henrie began acting as kids, they became famous in their teens for starring in the Disney Channel sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place. They portrayed Alex and Justin Russo, respectively — seemingly ordinary adolescents who learn magic to determine which of them will continue on their family’s line of wizards.

When the series ended in 2012, each continued their careers separately. But they’ve remained friends throughout the years. Gomez, along with other Wizards of Waverly Place co-stars like Jake T. Austin and Maria Canals-Barrera, attended Henrie’s 2017 wedding.

She joined his film ‘This is the Year’ as an executive producer

Now, the two have teamed up for what’s been deemed a Wizards of Waverly Place reunion. Gomez executive-produced Henrie’s directorial debut, This Is The Year. And not only that, but fans can watch their virtual reunion from home during a live premiere event.

“I’m reuniting with my friend and big brother, David Henrie,” said Gomez in the event trailer. “David and I are so excited to announce the first-ever live virtual film premiere for our new movie, This Is The Year, which premieres August 28th, that I know will give you all the feels. With all the craziness going on in the world, a feel-good movie is just what we need.”

Gomez gave Henrie advice before coming aboard

David Henrie and Selena Gomez attend Intermix's 3rd Annual 'VH1 Rock Honors' VIP Party at Intermix on July 11, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
David Henrie and Selena Gomez attend Intermix’s 3rd Annual ‘VH1 Rock Honors’ VIP Party at Intermix on July 11, 2008, in Los Angeles, California. | Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Gomez is no stranger to working behind-the-scenes. She executive produced Netflix’s drama 13 Reasons Why and docuseries Living Undocumented. She currently has several other projects in the works, including her HBO Max show Selena + Chef. Because of this, Gomez was quick to offer her former co-star tips as he worked on his film.

“Because we’ve been such good friends, we know what’s going on in each other’s lives,” Henrie told Showbiz Cheat Sheet. “So she knew about the movie for a long time, even when we started shooting it. And she always had been giving me executive producer-type advice just as a friend. Look out for this person to cast, this film. She always gave me good advice.”

Why Gomez loved ‘This is the Year’

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With This Is The Year, Henrie paid tribute to ’80s coming-of-age movies. But he also wanted to make it more relevant to a modern audience. “The ’80s made some really great films and some fun films and meaningful films,” said Henrie. “But there were some tropes they established that didn’t age very well,” he added, referring specifically to the one-note hot girl trope.

“This is actually the thing that got Selena Gomez involved in the film. She really loved how we flipped some tropes on their heads,” Henrie continued. “So it just was in the same conversation [that we said], ‘Let’s do it, let’s join forces.’ It was supernatural and not really planned in that sense, you know, it just was kind of organic.”