Everything You Need To Know About The Highly Anticipated ‘It Ends With Us’ Movie Adaptation

Blake Lively will be taking on the starring role.
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The movie adaptation of Colleen Hoover’s TikTok famous novel It Ends With Us has finally got a release date. We’ve been anxiously waiting this news after seeing photos of Blake Lively, Justin Baldoni and Brandon Skelnar filming in New Jersey.

The production was on pause due to the SAG-AFTRA and WGA stikes, but Sony has finally announced the release date, saying the film will hit cinemas on June 20, 2024.

There’s no doubt that the story of Lily, Ryle and Atlas was always going to be controversial when adapted for the big screen. But even we were surprised at the outrage sparked by Met Gala aficionado and Gossip Girl icon Blake Lively, 35, being cast as the beloved Lily. 

Blake Lively attending the Met Gala with her husband Ryan Reynolds. (Credit: Source: Getty Images)

Colleen Hoover took to TikTok to share the news and her joy about the casting decisions, but the internet has had other ideas – from the actors’ ages to their decision to get involved with the adaptation at all, given the controversy the novel has been embroiled in.  

How Did It Ends With Us Become Popular?

While Colleen Hoover has racked up over 20 novels throughout the years, it was It Ends With Us that cemented her as a prominent writer for a new generation of technology-obsessed readers.

The book was released in 2016 and according to Forbes, has sold over four million copies since its publication. In Australia, the book took the top spot in the Sydney Morning Herald top 10 bestsellers for 2022.

It Ends With Us has received a lot of love from the #BookTok community, a group of avid readers that recommend novels they’ve read to other bookworms on the app.

Given the success of the novel, it was picked up by Sony Pictures, and but information about the film’s progress has been scarce until now.

What Is The Plot Of It Ends With Us?

‘It Ends With Us’ was first released in 2016 and has been gaining popularity on TikTok ever since. (Credit: Image: Supplied)

It Ends With Us tells the story of Lily Bloom, a graduate and aspiring entrepreneur who has moved to Boston from Maine and encounters an attractive neurosurgeon, named Ryle, on a rooftop she likes to go to in order to clear her thoughts.

Lily’s father has just died and the in process of re-reading her childhood journals she details a dark and gloomy history in her nuclear family (and a lost childhood love, named Atlas, who turned her world upside down).

Meanwhile, Lily throws herself into Boston life, her new shop and exploring a relationship with the handsome, but aloof doctor, who has his own skeletons in the closet. In the process, she finds the shadows of her past may not be as far away as she would like them to be, and that she must confront the trauma of her past (and present) to find her path forwards.

It’s a contentious novel, dealing with themes of love and romance, but also violence and control.

Who Has Been Cast In It Ends with Us?

Justin Baldoni, who was famously on ‘Jane The Virgin’ will play Ryle alongside Blake Lively’s Lily. (Credit: Image: Getty Images)

Colleen Hoover shared that Blake Lively will play Lily Bloom and Justin Baldoni will play Ryle Kincaid. 

Baldoni will also direct the movie while Lively will be an executive producer.

To announce the news, Hoover visited her childhood home – where she alleges her mother escaped domestic violence and created a safe haven for her children. She shared how personal the story is, given its loose association with her mother’s life and her journey to escape a “scary situation”.

“I think that Justin Baldoni and Blake Lively have what it takes to bring these characters to life, and I cannot wait for you guys to see that happen,” she said, in the emotional video.

While Blake Lively is yet to make a public comment, she did share a selfie of her with auburn hair, which reminded fans of Lily’s signature red locks. Adding to the ‘easter egg’, she chose the song ‘Lily’ by The Smashing Pumpkins as an homage to her new character.

Soon after the casting of Atlas Corrigan was announced, who will be played by Brandon Sklenar. The actor is best known for his role in 1923. He’s also starred in television shows, including New Girl, Westworld and Walker: Independence, as well as films including Midway, The Big Ugly and Karen.

Atlas Corrigan will be played by Brandon Sklenar. (Credit: Getty)

In May, the first photos of Sklenar and Lively playing Atlas and Lily arrived, and let’s just say that fans had a lot to say about Lily’s styling and wardrobe choices.

“The it ends with us wardrobe team needs to be fired IMMEDIATELY,” one commented on Twitter. 

Another added, “Did i misread it ends with us? when did colleen mention that she wore ugly clothes.”

(Credit: Image: Getty)

We will just have to wait and see whether the atmosphere of the movie makes up for the questionable wardrobe.

Jenny Slate Cast As Allysa

On May 1, Colleen Hoover took to Instagram to announce actress and comedian Jenny Slate would be playing Alyssa, who is Ryle’s younger sister.

“We have our Allysa!” Hoover wrote. “Jenny Slate is one of the most talented humans, I can’t even believe she’ll be in this movie. I’m so hungry right now because I’ve been really freaking busy today so I can’t tell if I need to eat or if this nausea is from too much excitement. Gonna go eat a taco but I bet I’ll feel the same way after that. “

Jenny Slate was cast as Alyssa. (Credit: Instagram.)

However, similar to Blake Lively’s casting, not all fans were happy with the announcement.

“Literally who is casting this movie because none of the cast fit the characters,” one person wrote.

“You wrote the damn book, do you even know YOUR characters?” another wrote.

In the book, Allysa becomes Lily’s best friend and star employee. She also happens to be Ryle’s younger sister, leading to a few complicated encounters (no spoilers).

Why Do People Think Blake Lively Shouldn’t Have Been Cast In It Ends With Us?

With such mass appeal, there are countless people who have read the novel and imagined what characters Ryle and Lily should look like. Thus, when the casting was announced, some fans began to question Blake Lively’s age, given that she will be 35 while playing a 23 year-old woman.

Of course, casting people who are nowhere near their character’s age is not new in Hollywood. Andrew Garfield was 29 when he played a teenaged Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man and Rachel McAdams was 26 when she played a teenaged Regina George in Mean Girls.

Yet, many fans feel the role should have been given to a younger actress – most popularly, Sadie Sink, with her flowing deep red locks.  

it ends with us
Some of the backlash to the ‘It Ends With Us’ casting. (Credit: Source: Twitter)

It is important to note that the same visceral age-based reaction was not observed with the casting of Baldoni as Ryle. Ryle is 30 in the book, while Baldoni is 39.

It follows that if it is such a controversial decision to have an older female actor play a younger female character, the same uproar should apply to an older male actor playing a younger male character.

The lack of consistency in response to the casting suggests that to this day in the public discourse, a woman’s looks, age and parental status are more highly scrutinized than that of their male colleagues.

However, some fans may also attest that it is Lily’s youth and naivety that provide the basis for her early decisions in the book and the foundation of her character. In this vein, some argue that it would have been more apt to go with an actor who was 23 (or even younger) to visualise that context of poor decisions made in the blur of young romance. 

Like the controversy around the Twilight casting back in 2007, too many people have had their own visions of what these characters should look and be like that it is an almost impossible task for casting directors to pinpoint it exactly.

Blake Lively Fans Critique Her Decision To Accept Role In It Ends With Us

Blake Lively fans are concerned about the star being involved in the controversy surrounding the novel and its author. (Credit: Image: Instagram)

While the novel has been widely read, it has also received a lot of criticism around its portrayal of violence and domestic abuse.

Hoover’s decisions around the promotion of the book have also been controversial, specifically the choice to release an It Ends With Us colouring in book, which some said could romanticise domestic violence. Hoover panned its production following online criticism.

“The colouring book was developed with Lily’s strength in mind, but I can absolutely see how this was tone-deaf,” Hoover shared on Instagram. “I hear you guys and I agree with you. No excuses. No finger pointing. I have contacted the publisher to let them know I would prefer we don’t move forward with it. Thank you for the respectful discourse and accountability.”

Following this, Blake fans have commented that they wished they could have stopped her getting involved in the contention around the high-profile film.

When will It Ends With Us be released? 

It Ends With Us is currently under development by Sony Pictures and is due to be released in theatres on June 20, 2024. A trailer for the film is yet to be shared.

Where To Buy It Ends With Us

If you haven’t read the book yet and want to see what the fuss is all about, you can pick up a copy of Colleen Hoover’s best-selling novel here.

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