Now that the young adult adaptation Divergent starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort opened to a successful box office weekend, the question has become: can the two actors can do it again with their upcoming film together, The Fault in Our Stars.
Yes, that’s right, the two actors, who played brother and sister Tris and Caleb in Divergent, already have another film together coming out in June. In The Fault in Our Stars, a film adaptation of a beloved young adult novel by John Green, Woodley and Elgort play Hazel and Augustus, two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group.
It’s tough to say whether the success of Divergent means any kind of success of Fault, because there’s no denying that Fault is a very different type of film. Sure, both are targeted at young adults, both have romance, and both films have their own ways of drawing in audiences other than teens and girls (Divergent has action, The Fault in Our Stars has a very in-depth look at a serious topic), but there’s no getting around the fact that Fault is a movie about kids with cancer.
When the first Fault In Our Stars poster was released, some balked at the insensitive tagline, “One sick love story.”
However, author John Green, whose novel Paper Towns was recently picked up by the producers of Fault, took to Tumblr to defend the tagline, insisting that it was fitting for the wit and sarcasm found within his novel. The problem there is, while book fans will immediately understand that what you see in that tagline is in line with Fault’s great attempt to show young adults dealing with their situation in their own way, audiences who haven’t read the book won’t necessarily get that, which could potentially mean a flaw in the movie’s marketing.
The Wire has posed that Fault has the potential to be “something much more special” than Divergent, something that many of Fault’s book fans can attest to. Whereas Veronica Roth’s novels stick to the formulaic “special teen girl can save us all” storyline, Green’s Fault genuinely takes you deep within the emotional turmoil of young adulthood, entertaining while making your heart ache without seeming to even try. The Fault In Our Stars is almost so special as a novel that part of you wonders if it should even have been a movie.
It seems like a tall order to hope that Fault can match the box office numbers of Tris and Four, but with a wildly lower budget ($12m versus $85m), Hazel and Augustus Waters could convince the world to fall in love with The Fault In Our Stars without even trying all that hard.