The new Netflix series, “13 Reasons Why,” tells the story of a teen girl named Hannah Baker who commits suicide, leaving behind a box full of cassette tapes listing the 13 reasons why she did it, each addressed to a person she feels is responsible. The series is created by Tony-winning playwright Brian Yorkey, executive produced by Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”), and based on a 2007 young adult novel by Jay Asher.
In the 10th anniversary edition of his bestseller, which is out now, Asher revealed that Hannah survived in an earlier version of his story, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. In that version, Hannah attempted to end her life with pills, but her parents found her in time to take her to the hospital, where she was saved.
“I liked the idea of, ‘We’ve learned something from this. And yet, here’s a second chance,'” Asher said of his original ending. “Knowing as well that it was going to be difficult when Hannah went back to school to have to deal with those kids. It’s not like everything’s smooth now. In fact, it might be even tenser for her. But now there’s Clay, who’s going to be upfront that he’s there for her.”
“Out of seriousness for the issue, we realized we can’t go there,” Asher said. “No matter that there were missed opportunities for her. Those opportunities aren’t there if you do this. Once I realized that the message of the story would be stronger and that it would definitely be more of a cautionary tale. I felt that was definitely the way to go. That’s why Skye’s character made a reappearance, which was cool to see her have a bigger role throughout the TV series.”
All 13 episodes of the first season are now available to stream on Netflix.