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Here's everything you need to know about "It Ends With Us" starring Blake Lively

It’s almost been over a year since Blake Lively signed on for the movie adaptation of Colleen Hoover’s #BookTok-famous “romance” It Ends With Us—and we have a lot to talk about.

The 2016 novel follows a successful small-business owner named Lily Bloom, who finds herself falling for the devastatingly handsome but controlling neurosurgeon Ryle Kincaid. The book documents Lily’s tumultuous marriage to Ryle as her childhood friend, Atlas Corrigan, reenters the picture.

Years after it was first published, It Ends With Us shot to the top of the bestseller list after it gained renewed popularity on TikTok, according to BuzzFeed News. In January 2023, Hoover held the top three spots on the New York Times paperback fiction bestseller list with It Ends With Us; the sequel, It Starts With Us; and her unrelated thriller, Verity. Given the book’s popularity, it was only a matter of time before the story made its way to the big screen. Here’s everything we know.

Who is involved?

On January 26, 2023, Deadline announced that Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni (whom you may recognize from Jane the Virgin) have been cast as Lily and Ryle, with Baldoni also set to direct.

In an emotional Instagram video taken outside her childhood home, Hoover gave the news to her fans directly. “Our Lily is going to be played by Blake Lively. Blake Lively, y’all. She’s my dream Lily,” Hoover confirmed. “When I first met Justin Baldoni, who is directing the film for It Ends With Us, I immediately wanted him to be Ryle.”

Shortly after the announcement was made, Lively made a rather cryptic Instagram post of her own, seemingly sharing a fresh brunette dye job.

Other cast members include Brandon Sklenar as Atlas Corrigan, Jenny Slate as Allysa, and Hasan Minhaj as Marshall.

Image: Instagram/@SonyPictures

After filming wrapped, Hoover gushed to People about Lively’s performance. “There aren’t enough words to describe her phenomenal talent,” she said. “Blake Lively truly brought Lily Bloom to life in a way that exceeded all my expectations.”

"I think people are going to be blown away by her portrayal of Lily,” Baldoni added in the same article. “It’s so nuanced, it’s so unique, it’s so beautiful. I don’t want to give away too much, but I believe it’s Blake Lively as you’ve never seen her before.”

When is it coming out?

It Ends With Us was originally scheduled to be released on February 9, 2024, but due to production delays stemming from the Hollywood strikes, the release date has been pushed back to August 9, 2024.

Is there pictures?

Yes! On April 30, Sony Pictures released images from the film showing Lily and Ryle’s romance, and some behind-the-scenes pics of Baldoni in director mode.

Image: Instagram/@SonyPictures

What’s this I’m hearing about a coloring book controversy?

Hoover faced backlash after announcing on January 10, 2023 that It Ends With Us would be made into a coloring book. According to Today, fans were quick to point out that this “romanticizes” domestic violence, which is a major aspect of the novel. One Twitter user described the idea as “beyond tone-deaf and harmful.”

By January 11, 2023, Hoover and Atria Books announced the coloring book would no longer be moving forward. “The coloring book was developed with Lily’s strength in mind, but I can absolutely see how this was tone-deaf,” Hoover wrote in an Instagram story. “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. Nothing but love.”

This isn’t the first time Hoover has been accused of romanticizing the abusive relationship between Lily and Ryle. While TikTok is largely responsible for the book’s resurgence, it’s also where many book lovers go to criticize the author. The domestic violence resource also slammed the book, writing, “It Ends With Us feeds into the very structures of toxic masculinity that it purports to combat.”

“I don’t expect everyone to like my books, so if someone doesn’t, it isn’t my job to deal with them,” Hoover told Glamour in February 2022. “That is their right, and I respect that. I put 100% of the focus into the people who do enjoy my books, and I do my very best to make those people happy.”

Not everyone is happy Lively and Baldoni are involved with the project.

Beyond issues with the book’s content, many argued the 36-year-old Gossip Girl star is “too old” for her role, considering Lily is supposed to be 23 years old. For some reason (misogyny), fewer people have made the same complaint about Baldoni, who is nine years older than his 30-year-old character Ryle.

Hoover discussed aging up the characters during the Book Bonanza festival on June 23, 2023. “Back when I wrote It Ends With Us, the new adult [genre] was very popular,” she said, according to Today. “You were writing college-age characters. That’s what I was contracted to do.”

The author continued, “I didn’t know that neurosurgeons went to school for 50 years. There’s not a 20-something neurosurgeon. As I started making this movie, I’m like, ‘We need to age them out because I messed up.’ So that’s my fault.”

The costumes are causing a lot of backlash as well.

As photos from the set made their way onto the internet, many fans began expressing confusion over Lily’s outfits, particularly this double-pants ensemble:

“Every photo that’s released just keeps getting worse and worse,” one commenter wrote under a TikTok video in May 2023, while another wrote, “This feels like a prank now.”

Hoover also defended the wardrobe choices at Book Bonanza on June 23, 2023, saying, “You’ve seen a couple of outfits that are completely out of context. I’m not worried about it.”

“I don’t remember describing outfits at all,” she also said, per Today. “I don’t care what they have on. In my head, it’s about the conversation they’re having and the story.”

When production picked back up in January 2024, Lively was spotted in an eclectic look that didn’t ease fan concerns. “What is this?” one TikTok user asked in a video showing Lively in wide-leg patchwork jeans that were paired with a clashing multicolored quilted shirt jacket and second patterned coat. “Every single outfit that I’ve seen for this character has just been so ridiculous and awful that it has made people genuinely worried about this movie, me included,” he said.

“I would have loved a quirky wardrobe,” another user wrote in the video’s comments section. “But this isn’t a cute quirky.”

Image: Instagram/@Collenhoover

Now we have another bohemian filming ’fit to process. While shooting a farmers market scene in New Jersey on January 11, Lively was photographed wearing a long sherpa-lined denim coat, blue and red patchwork shirt, cream-colored crop top, high-waist blue trousers, and fire engine red platform lace-up boots with a towering heel. Juxtaposed with the rest of what she’s worn for the role so far, this look is—dare I say it—comparably palatable. Perhaps the costume department is listening to fan concerns and taking direct action? Or maybe they were just getting the worst of Lily Bloom’s wardrobe out of the way? Mercifully, it seems we’re moving in the right direction here: toward something a nonfictional woman might actually choose to wear.

The official trailer

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