On Wednesday, author John Green’s mighty fandom was rocked by the release of the first poster for The Fault in Our Stars, a highly anticipated film adaptation of Green’s bestselling YA novel.
The image itself seemed pretty much perfect — a romantic shot of the film’s cancer-stricken teenage lovers Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), lying in a patch of grass and looking blissfully happy together. Hazel was even wearing her cannula. But one sentence at the bottom of the poster threatened to ruin the effect. It’s the film’s chosen tagline — which reads, “One sick love story.”
Some labeled it glib and offensive. Others applauded it, admiring the tagline’s stark gallows humor. Now Fault star Woodley herself has weighed in on the tagline as well… and though she ultimately supports it, the actress also says she would have picked something different if the decision had been hers to make.
“I had a really strong response to it,” Woodley told EW in an interview. “It’s definitely — it’s not a tagline that I probably would have chosen by any means. But I think that there’s so many people who are so passionate about this book that there’s nothing that will ever satisfy everyone. So I think it was just up to the discretion of the marketing mavens. For me, it was — yeah, not something I would have chosen. But it seems like half the people love it and half the people don’t like it.”
Green himself is in the former camp. “I found [the tagline] dark and angry in the same way that Hazel is (at least at times) dark and angry in her humor,” he wrote on his Tumblr Wednesday. “I like the tag line because it says, literally, the sick can also have love stories. Love and joy and romance are not just things reserved for the well.”
For her part, Woodley says that she “did agree with the points that [Green] made” in his blog post. “I could see where he was coming from,” she said. “But it’s still not something that I would have chosen.”
The Fault in Our Stars hits theaters June 6.