Forget — for just a moment — about summer’s spandex-clad superheroes and cities being destroyed by robots and monsters. The Fault in Our Stars, out June 6 and adapted from the 2012 best-selling John Green novel, stands to be the must-see love story of the season.
In this week’s Entertainment Weekly, Sara Vilkomerson reports from The Fault in Our Stars set in Pittsburgh and explores how TFIOS — which tells the love story of two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group — became an unlikely YA phenomenon. “I tried to write the funniest, most honest love story I could about these kids who were living with a difficult disease. I never thought it would be popular,” says Green. “I certainly never imagined it would be a movie.”
Luckily, one studio decided to take a chance on the project. Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler remembers how producer Wyck Godfrey convinced her to make the film. “Wyck called me and said, ‘You can’t pass on this. You have to do this,” she says. “I said, ‘Why are you doing this to me?’ And he said, ‘Because. It makes you remember when you were a teenager and you were in love for the first time and you didn’t want to hang up the phone.'”
With a modest budget of $12 million, every piece of the TFIOS puzzle was carefully considered — from hiring director Josh Boone to casting rising stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort in the lead roles of Hazel and Augustus. Green, who was on set for just about every day of shooting, found the experience an unexpected pleasure. “Shailene has become Hazel to me. Ansel has become Gus,” he says. “The feeling I’ve had consistently is this deep weird joy.”
For more on The Fault in Our Stars — including interviews with director Josh Boone and stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort — pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, May 2.