‘It Ends With Us’ author addresses controversy surrounding Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni’s casting in Sony adaptation

It ends with us Author Colleen Hoover has opened up about the controversy surrounding the casting of Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni in Sony’s adaptation of her bestselling novel of the same name.

In a conversation with Todayby Jenna Bush Hager at the Hoover’s Book Bananza Festival in Texas, the author shared details about the upcoming adaptation, saying the choices fans were concerned about were her decision.

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One thing fans seem unhappy with is the casting of Lively and Baldoni as Lily and Ryle, respectively, because in the book Lily is 23 and Ryle is 30, while Lively is 35 and Baldoni is 39. Hoover explained that she wanted to age the characters in the film in an attempt to correct a mistake she made in the book.

“When I was writing It ends with us, the new adult (gender) was very popular,” she said. “You were writing college-aged characters. That’s what I was hired to do. I made Lily very young. I didn’t know that neurosurgeons go to school for 50 years.

Hoover continued, “There is no neurosurgeon in their twenties. When I started making this movie, I was like, ‘We have to age them, because I screwed up.’ So it’s my fault.

She pointed out that despite some backlash, she’s “extremely happy” with their casting, sharing that she’s been “obsessed” with Lively ever since. Gossip Girl and couldn’t believe the actress had agreed to star in the adaptation.

“I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, that would be awesome,'” she said. “I think (Baldoni, who is also a director and executive producer,) expected (me) to just scream into the phone. But he doesn’t realize… I didn’t allow myself to get really excited because I thought to myself, something could happen. Filming is not over. Anything can go wrong.

The author also touched on the conversations surrounding Lily’s outfits, which were photographed in New Jersey before production was halted due to the writers’ strike. She said she wasn’t really imagining certain outfits when she was writing the book, but she “loves” the conversation the photos have generated because it means people care.

Lily’s style has been described as disheveled and difficult to predict, as she wears camouflage on some days, blue boxers under patterned pants on other days, and sometimes baggy multicolored sweaters.

“I don’t remember describing any outfits at all,” Hoover continued. “I don’t care what they wear. In my head, it’s about the conversation they have and the story. It’s the same in the movie. She added that she wasn’t worried because what people saw were out-of-context outfits, and they will all make sense in the film.

According to his description, It ends with us follows Lily after she moves to a new town, where she meets and falls in love with Ryle, a neurosurgeon, with whom she has an abusive relationship. Then, his first love, Atlas (played by Brandon Skelnar), reappears and challenges the new relationship.

Despite fan concerns, the writer believes that when It ends with us comes to life on the big screen, the movie people want is the movie they’re going to get. She shared that she saw footage during her visit to set and “cried so much,” though she insists she’s not an emotional person.

“You’re going to be so happy,” Hoover said. “I am extremely happy, and now my expectations are high, and I will maintain them.”

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