Filming for It Ends With Us, the highly anticipated adaptation of the bestselling Colleen Hoover novel directed by Justin Baldoni, has started in New Jersey. But photos and video from the set revealing the first look at star Blake Lively in costume left many book fans concerned.
It Ends With Us, which Hoover published in 2016, takes readers through the lifespan of a relationship (and subsequent marriage) between Lily Bloom (Lively), a 23-year-old who wants to open a floral shop, and Ryle Kincaid (Baldoni), a 30-year-old neurosurgeon, that eventually becomes abusive. It Ends With Us has spent the past 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers’ list and is often seen as a quintessential BookTok success story that extended to much of Hoover’s backlog; she’s sold more than 20 million books, according to a 2022 NYT profile of Hoover. On TikTok, #itendswithus has over 2.4 billion views, while Hoover’s name has over 4 billion views.
Needless to say, many, many readers are very interested in a film adaptation of It Ends With Us.
The first photos and video emerged earlier this week, featuring Lively in various outfits. One shows her in a pink T-shirt tied in a knot to the side and a pink jacket; other photos reveal the brown dress underneath the pink layers, striped socks, and loafers. And another photo shows Lively in a brown beanie, a blue crop top, a patchwork jacket, maroon pants, and black boots.
@elderordonez Blake Lively Is Seen Filming ‘t Ends With Us’ With Justin Baldoni In New Jersey this morning (🎥) @ #blakelively#blake#lively #ryanreynolds#jlo#jenniferlopez #benaffleck#pretty#beautiful #happy#elderordonez1 #justinbieber#haileybieber #kimkardashian#kyliejenner #ladygaga#tiktok#reels #reelsinstagram#follow #photography#photo#nikon #newyork#selenagomez #taylorswift#foryou#foryoupage#instagram #fun #girl ♬ original sound – Elder Ordonez
Lily is described as having red hair, and Lively certainly has that going for her. But to book fans, other aspects of Lily’s looks—especially the costumes—are flat-out wrong. The movie version of Lily isn’t someone who’s made to look like she’s put together, or whose outfits match or even fit correctly; it’s a hodgepodge of styles and patterns that don’t mesh, and it’s also a departure from how people are used to seeing Lively.
“Does the plot of this book hinge on the female lead looking like shit because making blake lively look this bad is kind of a herculean feat,” @billtenchbarbie tweeted.
Some people blamed Hoover herself for how Lively was styled, but others put their ire on the costuming department.
“Whoever’s in charge of making this movie has not read the book,” @talkingtotequila said. “This is not Lily. I don’t know who it is, but it’s not Lily.”
@talkingtotequila It end with us keeps looking more and more disappointing. #greenscreen #itendswithus #itendswithusmovie #itendswithuscast #blakelively #lilybloom #blakelively #colleenhoover #booktok #itendswithusbook #colleenhooverbooks #itendswithuscolleenhoover ♬ Storytelling – Adriel
Some fans were already hesitant about the casting because of the age difference between Lively, who is 35, and the character she plays. It’s possible that the movie is aging all of its characters up, but the costuming isn’t making those fans confident about the changes. In one critique, TikToker @imaginethislifewithme makes a caveat before expressing her dismay that she is a huge fan of Lively.
Others included their fancasts of other actors—many younger than Lively and closer to Lily’s age in the book—they wish they would’ve played Lily instead.
@_morganelise_h Had to do another one 😂 NOT THE LOAFERS ya’ll 😳 #greenscreen #itendswithus #itendswithusmovie #coho #colleenhoover #firstlook #blakelively #blakeaslily #itendswithusfirstlook #notthevibe #Booktok #iewu #lilybloom #lilybloomaesthetic #icant #castingfail #notmylilybloom ♬ OG THE PASTELS – Kneely_Knight
@chaitealattesandchilton I love blake but shes just not lily bloom. But i hope she proves us different. #lilybloom #blakelively #serenavanderwoodsen #gossipgirl #itendswithus #itendswithusmovie #booktok #booktoker #colleenhoover ♬ Cruel Summer – Taylor Swift
And at least a couple of people compared Lily’s attire to Professor Trelawney from the Harry Potter films.
“Blake Lively is giving Harry Potter Core for her role in ‘It Ends With Us,’” @kaylasbooktrailers wrote.
@kaylasbooktrailers Blake Lively is giving Harry Potter Core for her role in “It Ends With Us” 👀 #itendswithus #colleenhoover #blakelively #booktok #itendswithusmovie #professortrelawney ♬ original sound – Kayla Ann
Fans have already crafted theories to justify the costuming and why the film version of It Ends With Us features actors older than their literary counterparts.
We’re a long way from seeing how exactly It Ends With Us—and the eclectic costumes that Lively is wearing—will look on the big screen. But it’s an early exercise for book fans that no matter how you might imagine an adaptation will look like, the film won’t ever be able to match it.