BookTok, rejoice! Colleen Hoover’s 2016 bestselling novel It Ends With Us is officially being adapted for the big screen – with Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni taking center stage.
“We have a cast! Our Lily is going to be played by Blake Lively. Blake Lively y’all! She’s my dream Lily,” Hoover revealed via Instagram video in January 2023. “And then when I first met Justin Baldoni — who is directing the film for It Ends With Us — I immediately wanted him to be Ryle. I just thought that he had what it takes to play that character. And the good news is, he’s going to be Ryle. I think Justin and Blake have what it takes to bring these characters to life and I cannot wait for you guys to see that happen.”
The writer made the big announcement from her childhood home, sharing that the novel — which centers on themes of domestic abuse and violence — was loosely based on her own experience as a child.
“I just want everyone to know how appreciative I am to my mother, who got us out of a scary situation when I was little and brought us here to this house which doesn’t look like much but was full of love and joy,” she explained at the time. “So thank you, Mom, for making that very difficult decision. … The fact that we are now discussing a movie that was made from a book that was loosely inspired by my mother, it’s bittersweet. So many people have had to go through [what she did], but to know my mom’s decision has helped so many people get out of that. I love you, Mom.”
Released in 2016, It Ends With Us became a cultural phenomenon on social media and was the top-selling print book of 2022. The novel remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over 90 weeks.
The story follows a girl named Lily who has just moved and is ready to start her life after college. After meeting a doctor named Ryle — who swears by the “no girlfriends” rule — the two begin falling for each other. Just as things turn serious, Lily’s first love, Atlas, reappears in her life and challenges her new relationship.
The novel was optioned in 2019 by Baldoni — who serves as director as well as the star of the film — and Wayfarer Studios, with Hoover working as a consultant and Chirsty Hall penning the script.
“Sorry to be a tease …😉 @colleenhoover … you ready to make #ItEndsWithUs?” the Jane the Virgin alum captioned a January 2022 TikTok that featured him reading the first draft of the script.
Baldoni returned to social media two months later to assure fans that he was well aware of the importance of keeping the adaptation in line with the book. “Don’t worry I see EVERYTHING you all tag me in 💐🍪📝,” he wrote via TikTok alongside a clip of him typing furiously while “trying to keep up with all the It Ends With Us casting, scene and song requests.”
In July 2022, the Five Feet Apart producer and Hoover paired up and chose 10 lucky fans to come together and read the film script, giving them an opportunity to share their feedback on the adaptation.
“A huge thank you to the thousands of LA area fans of It Ends With Us for submitting and for the ten we chose to join us for the special reading of the script,” he captioned a recap of the event via TikTok at the time. “Your feedback and support was incredible! We are one step closer to making this movie thanks to you! We are beyond excited! More to come!”
Hoover, for her part, shared in January 2023 that she would give fans as much insight as she could throughout the movie’s production. “I’m going to do my best to try and sneak y’all as much footage as I can without getting kicked off set,” she quipped via Instagram.
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