Now that To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You has released on Netflix, views may be curious about the post-credits scene in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and whether it’s relevant to the sequel. Here’s why John Ambrose McClaren looks different in each film, and why his return is completely different in To All the Boys 2.
The original To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie stars Lana Condor as Lara Jean Song Covey. Directed by Susan Johnson, the Netflix adaption is based on Jenny Han’s 2014 eponymous novel and follows the experiences of a girl who discovers that her secret love letters have been mailed to her secret crushes. The first film explores the evolving romance between Lara Jean and classmate Peter (Noah Centineo), and a post-movie credits scene teases a future storyline involving a character from the book series, John Ambrose, who appears in a flashback scene during P.S. I Still Love You.
John Ambrose is portrayed by two different actors in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You. The first film ends with a young man arriving at Lara Jean’s home holding a letter addressed to John Ambrose McClaren at 1263 Calvarado Street in a California town. The character is played by Jordan Burtchett, an actor best known for roles in Heartland, The Killing, and Supernatural. In To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, however, Jordan Fisher (Moana, Grease Live!) plays John Ambrose, and the story is retconned so that he never showed up on Lara Jean’s doorstep. So, what’s going on?
Netflix hasn’t provided a reason for the John Ambrose re-casting in To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, though Burtchett did indeed acknowledge the change in March 2019 on Instagram after being replaced. It’s worth noting that there’s a new filmmaking team behind the sequel, as the original cinematographer, Michael Fimognari, directed the second movie, and J. Mills Goodloe co-wrote the script with original scribe Sofia Alvarez. The original post-credits scene goes unacknowledged, with John Ambrose choosing to write back to Lara Jean instead of showing up at her house, and the two instead end up meeting again when they volunteer at the same retirement home.
Given that To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before has been such a huge hit for Netflix, fans have long been anticipating a potential romance for Lara Jean and John Ambrose. Fisher’s character plays a significant role in the sequel, and his backstory is indeed properly explored as Lara Jean rebuilds their connection while also considering a break-up with Peter. The new John Ambrose apparently lives in Oregon, but the sequel doesn’t directly acknowledge his California address from the original film. Those minor details aren’t incredibly relevant to the main storyline, of course, but the re-casting has creates some confusion amongst casual subscribers who watched and enjoyed To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Most likely, Netflix wanted to diversify the main cast for To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, as opposed to having Lara Jean being pursued by two white suitors. As John Ambrose, Fisher delivers an endearing and kind-hearted performance, making the character feel like a Prince Charming figure rather than a guy like Peter – who means well but often frustrates Lara Jean. And perhaps that’s the main reason for the John Ambrose re-casting in To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You: Fisher’s ability to complement Peter’s best qualities as John Ambrose, but also contrast them in the way he behaves around Lara Jean.
More: To All The Boys 2 Ending Explained: Why Lara Jean Chooses [SPOILER]