🚨WARNING: Spoliers ahead!🚨
1. Netflix's series adaptation of The Stranger is based on Harlan Coben's suspense novel of the same name. Harlan acted as executive producer on the show.
2. This isn't Harlan's first Netflix collaboration, either. He created two other crime miniseries with them — The Five and Safe.
3. In the book, The Stranger is actually a white male named Chris Taylor. In the series, The Stranger is a biracial woman named Chrissy, played by Hannah John-Kamen.
4. According to an interview Harlan did with the The New York Times, the men just weren't cutting it during the audition process.
"When we started to audition people, the men just weren’t working. It didn’t look or feel right. Once I saw Hannah do it, there was no one else for me. She has the right touch of being a little cool, a little damaged, really interesting and mysterious."
5. Throughout the entire process, Harlan watched more than 300 audition tapes.
6. The more prominent UK actors, like Richard Armitage (Adam Price) and Siobhan Finneran (DS Johanna Griffin), didn't have to audition.
7. But not every actor was easy to obtain. Harlan literally begged Jennifer Saunders to join the cast.
8. Although the novel is set in the United States, specifically New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, the series takes place in Manchester, England.
9. The New Jersey native has written more than 30 books, and he loves to keep the environments consistent, with the majority of them taking place in New Jersey neighborhoods and suburbs.
I live in a very nice suburban community in New Jersey, but if you look at the houses, there’s a whole world you know nothing about. In The Stranger, Adam is an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances. I think that’s what makes for a gripping story. Even the bad guy is trying to do best by his family. He’s just going a little too far!
10. There are also fewer guns present in the Netflix series than there are in the original story, which probably has something to do with the UK's strict gun laws.
11. Because the series is set in the UK, the sport mentioned is soccer (football), while the book focused on lacrosse.
12. If you look close enough, you can actually spot Harlan in the series for like eight seconds.
13. The story was inspired by real-life events...kind of. Harlan heard about a news story that involved a woman using a site to help fake her pregnancy, and the rest of the details blossomed from there.
14. The teenagers and their storylines aren't featured in the book. They were specifically developed for the series.
15. Harlan's daughter, Charlotte, played a big role solidifying the teenage narratives. She even wrote Episode 5!
16. Some other new characters were introduced in the series as well, like DC Wesley Ross (played by Kadiff Kirwan), who works alongside DC Johanna Griffin...
17. ..and Ingrid, The Stranger's partner in crime and love (played by Lily Loveless, who some of you might recognize from Skins). In the book, The Stranger calls on the help of four other people to help with the reveals, but in the series, The Stranger works solely with Ingrid.
18. Adam's estranged dad, Edgar Price (played by Anthony Head), has a bigger role in the series. In the book, he died of a heart attack when Adam was young, but in the series he's alive and well.
19. Sick children are a major storyline in both the book and the series. On Netflix, Patrick Katz (played by Paul Kaye) is a dirty cop with a sick daughter named Olivia. In the book, one of John Kuntz's three sons has bone cancer.
20. Fans are already looking for Season 2, but Harlan doesn't really think it's necessary.
I don’t think it’s fair to ask people to watch an eight-episode crime story like this and not give you the ending, and make you wait for Season 2. That’s just not fair to me. We’ll do a Season 2 only if we can think of an idea that’s just as good for the characters, but I’m not going to hold something back or not give the full answer in Season 1. And really, the novels don’t lend themselves to more than one season.
21. And finally, the ending. Without going into extreme details, a murder is covered up in both the series and the book, but it's done in completely different ways.
Did you notice any other differences between the series and book? Let us know in the comments below.
And be sure to watch The Stranger, streaming now on Netflix.