The movie adaptation of Colleen Hoover's bestseller "It Ends With Us" is on its way. Filming officially kicked off in May, and fans started to get glimpses of what's in store in the form of behind-the-scenes pictures of Blake Lively, Justin Baldoni, and Brandon Sklenar in character in Hoboken, New Jersey. However, some fans had strong reactions to the first images from set, criticising the costumes worn by Lively's Lily and also the ages of the cast. In a new conversation, Hoover defended the casting and the costumes — and promised fans that they're going to be "so happy" with the final film.
Hoover spoke to "Today" host Jenna Bush Hager at the author's annual Texas book fair Book Bonanza on 23 June. She told Bush Hager that when she arrived on set in New Jersey, "I got to see the footage they filmed thus far. I'm not a crier. I know that I write emotional books but I'm not an emotional person. And I cried so much on set," as per "Today." Hoover's 2016 novel, which is loosely based on her own mother's life, follows a girl named Lily, 23, (Lively) who meets a charming neurosurgeon named Ryle (Baldoni) after finishing college and moving to Boston. Despite his no-dating rule, Ryle makes an exception for Lily, and the two quickly develop a romance. However, not long after, Lily's first love, Atlas (Sklenar), reenters her life, and her relationship with Ryle is put to the test.
As for the age controversy, Hoover said she's the one to blame. "Back when I wrote 'It Ends With Us,' the new adult [genre] was very popular. You were writing college-age characters," she explained. "That's what I was contracted to do. I made Lily very young. I didn't know that neurosurgeons went to school for 50 years. There's not a 20-something neurosurgeon." Ryle is 30 in the book. Baldoni is nine years older, while Lively, 35, is 13 years older than Lily in the book.
"As I started making this movie, I'm like, we need to age them out, because I messed up," Hoover said. "So that's my fault." She added that she's very happy with the casting.
And as for the costumes, she urged fans not to get too tripped up by the ensembles. Hoover told Bush Hager, "I don't remember describing outfits at all. I don't care what they have on. In my head, it's about the conversation they're having and the story. It's the same way in the movie"
"You guys are going to be so happy," Hoover said of the film. "I'm extremely happy and now my expectations are up and I'm going to keep them there."
Baldoni also serves as director of the film, which comes from Wayfarer Studios and Sony Pictures. He and Lively are also executive producers on the project. A release date for "It Ends With Us" has yet to be announced, but keep reading for everything we know about the film so far.