All that hard work promoting The Fault in Our Stars—which started three years ago with John Green signing pages to be bound into the 150,000 copies of the novel’s first print run from Dutton—has paid off. The movie adaptation of Green’s bestselling novel is being released next week with great fanfare. The sizzling pre-release buzz that surrounds the film is more typical of that for the latest installment of Harry Potter’s fantastical adventures than a contemporary drama filmed in Pittsburgh and Amsterdam about two teenagers who meet in a cancer support group. Today, at 3:30 p.m. in the Special Events Hall, Green will discuss the making of The Fault in Our Stars with Fox 2000 Pictures president Elizabeth Gabler; director Josh Boone; producer Wyck Godfrey; and screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber.
Footage from the film, which Green says is “fantastic,” will be shown during the discussion. Green says that he’s seen the movie twice already and that he “loved it” both times. It’s “one of the most faithful adaptations that I’ve seen of a book,” he notes, which is high praise from an author. It may be because everybody on the movie set, “including the transpo team,” Green says, had read the book, so that the production became a “huge collaboration between people who wanted to make the best film they could.” Though he declined to provide specifics, he says that some scenes were shifted around, because “when you’re telling stories for screen, you have to do it in a slightly different way than when you’re telling stories through scratches on a page.”
Even though Green enjoyed very much his participation in transferring The Fault in Our Stars from page to screen, his legions of fans don’t have to worry that he’s going to go Hollywood. He’ll go back to writing after promoting this movie. His next novel is currently titled I Literally Don’t Even Know What My Next Book Will Be About but Any Ideas Are Appreciated.
Describing previous experiences with the film industry as “underwhelming at best,” and generally preferring books to movie adaptations (even Harry Potter), Green praised the cast and crew of The Fault in Our Stars for doing right by his story. Just as in the novel, Green says, the movie is about two complex characters who’ve integrated disability into their lives, rather than two people defined by their disability. After all, Fault, which has more than seven million copies in print, is a bestseller because teen angst is universal, regardless of one’s health. “Teenagers are coming to terms with the capriciousness of the universe for the first time, and grappling with the big questions about mortality, suffering, and how to find, or give, meaning to life,” Green points out. “There’s a lot for readers to connect to.”