After (2019 film)
After is a 2019 American romantic drama film directed by Jenny Gage, based on the 2014 new adult fiction novel of the same name by Anna Todd, which was originally released as a fanfiction on Wattpad. The screenplay is written by Susan McMartin, Tamara Chestna, and Jenny Gage. The film stars Josephine Langford and Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and follows an inexperienced teenage girl who begins to romance a mysterious student during her first months of college. The cast includes Selma Blair, Inanna Sarkis, Shane Paul McGhie, Pia Mia, Khadijha Red Thunder, Dylan Arnold, Samuel Larsen, Jennifer Beals, and Peter Gallagher in supporting roles.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jenny Gage|
by Anna Todd
|Music by||Justin Burnett|
|Edited by||Michelle Harrison|
|Distributed by||Aviron Pictures|
|Box office||$69.7 million|
Development of a film adaptation based on Todd's novel began in 2014 when Paramount Pictures acquired the rights and hired Susan McMartin as screenwriter. In 2017, CalMaple Media and Offspring Entertainment bought the rights, with writer Tamara Chestna hired to rework McMartin's script, and director Jenny Gage overseeing the script's final revisions. The film was also produced by Voltage Pictures, Diamond Film Productions, and Frayed Pages Entertainment. In May 2018, Fiennes Tiffin was cast in the lead role alongside Julia Goldani Telles. However, in July 2018, Goldani Telles dropped out due to scheduling conflicts and was replaced by Langford. Principal photography began on July 16, 2018 and concluded in August 24 that same year, with filming taking place in Atlanta, Georgia.
After premiered at The Grove in Los Angeles on April 8, 2019, before it was released in Latin America on April 10, 2019, by Diamond Films, and in the United States on April 12, 2019, by Aviron Pictures. The film received largely negative reviews from critics, who felt its screenplay and narrative glamourized abusive relationships. The film was a commercial success, grossing $69.7 million worldwide against its $14 million budget. A sequel, After We Collided, was released in select countries on September 2, 2020 and was released in the United States on October 23, 2020.
Tessa Young begins her freshman year of college by moving into her dorm room with the help of her mother, Carol and her boyfriend, Noah. During this process, she meets Steph, her new roommate, and her girlfriend Tristan. The day after, Tessa shares a brief encounter with Steph's friend, Hardin Scott. The next day, Steph persuades Tessa to attend a party where she meets Steph's other friends Zed, Molly and Jace, and meets Hardin for the second time. The group play truth or dare, revealing in turn Tessa's virginity; she is dared to kiss Hardin, but refuses. Later at the party, Hardin attempts to kiss Tessa, but she rejects his advances and leaves.
The following day, Tessa meets Landon, a classmate, who reveals to her that he and Hardin are going to be related as his mother is engaged to Hardin's father. Following a debate in class, Hardin approaches Tessa and insists they start over, inviting her to a nearby lake. While they swim, Hardin kisses Tessa, saying that they cannot just be friends. Later, the two encounter Molly and Zed at a diner, after which Tessa says she will tell Noah about her and Hardin's kiss. Hardin tells her not to, saying that he does not date, disappointing Tessa. Noah surprises Tessa with a sudden visit, and the two have an evening together by a bonfire. In a game of suck and blow at the bonfire party, Jace purposely fails in order to kiss Tessa, causing Hardin to become jealous and the two get into a physical fight. While Noah sleeps in Tessa's bed after the party, she leaves to check on Hardin, who has destroyed the house in drunken anger. She comforts him, and the two kiss.
The next day, Tessa goes back to her dorm to check on Noah, who finds out about her relationship with Hardin and leaves heartbroken. Tessa and Hardin finally decide to date, but her mother threatens to cut her off financially if she continues the relationship, believing Hardin to be a bad influence on her daughter. Hardin finds an apartment for the two to live in and they attend his father's wedding reception together. Hardin reveals that his father was a drunkard and his mother was assaulted by the men he angered while drunk. Tessa comforts him and the two head back to their apartment to have sex. Later, Tessa becomes concerned about the text messages sent to Hardin by Molly. She tries to confront him, but he dismisses her and leaves. After leaving the apartment in search of him, she finds him at a diner with Molly, Zed, Steph and Jace. Molly cruelly reveals Hardin's true intentions; showing Tessa a video from the first party they went to, revealing that Hardin only pursued Tessa as a challenge to make her fall in love and then break her heart by breaking up with her. Hardin tries to convince Tessa this was all before he actually got to know her, but Tessa ends their relationship.
Tessa leaves heartbroken and returns home to reconcile with her mother and Noah, who both forgive her. In the weeks that follow, Tessa cuts ties with Steph and her group of friends, eventually interviewing for an internship program at Vance Publishing with the intention of leaving college. Later, Tessa's lecturer, Professor Soto, returns to her an essay written by Hardin, in which he confesses his love for Tessa. Tessa reads it and then returns to the lake to meet Hardin.
- Josephine Langford as Tessa Young
- Hero Fiennes Tiffin as Hardin Scott
- Selma Blair as Carol Young
- Shane Paul McGhie as Landon Gibson
- Khadijha Red Thunder as Steph Jones
- Inanna Sarkis as Molly Samuels
- Samuel Larsen as Zed Evans
- Pia Mia as Tristan
- Dylan Arnold as Noah Porter
- Jennifer Beals as Karen Scott
- Peter Gallagher as Ken Scott
In 2013, writer Anna Todd posted the first chapters of a fan fiction titled After on Wattpad. Her original story was loosely based on Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Zayn Malik from the boy band One Direction, portrayed as students at Washington State University. The story follows Tessa Young, an "innocent good girl" who gets caught up in a relationship with "bad boy" Harry Styles.
Within one month, the story had acquired 544 million readers on the site. Todd later landed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish the novels in the After series, all of which were subsequently released in 2014. In the published version, the lead male character's name was changed from Harry Styles to Hardin Scott. The books gained media attention and became New York Times bestsellers.
In 2014, Paramount Pictures acquired the rights to adapt After for film. Susan McMartin was the project's screenwriter until mid-2017, after which the film production rights for the novel to Paramount Pictures were discontinued. CalMaple Media and Offspring Entertainment then acquired the rights, with writer Tamara Chestna hired to rework McMartin's script, and director Jenny Gage overseeing the script's final revisions. McMartin, Chestna, and Gage all received final script credit.
Mark Canton and Courtney Solomon of CalMaple Media, Jennifer Gibgot of Offspring Entertainment, author Anna Todd, Aron Levitz of Wattpad, Meadow Williams of Diamond Film Productions and Dennis Pelino were all producers on the film. CalMaple, Voltage Pictures and Diamond Film Productions financed the film, and Swen Temmel, Nicolas Charier, Jonathan Deckter, David Dinerstein, Jason Resnick, Scott Karol, Ian Brereton, Eric Lehrman, Adam Shankman, Brian Pitt and Vassal Benford executive produced. Aviron Pictures distributed the film domestically, with Voltage Pictures handling foreign distribution.
On May 8, 2018, Julia Goldani Telles and Hero Fiennes Tiffin were cast in the main roles of Tessa Young and Hardin Scott, respectively. The actors were selected by the production team, including Todd herself, who was present at the castings and contributed to the casting decisions.
In July 2018, Telles announced her exit from the film due to scheduling conflicts. In the same month, Josephine Langford was set to play Tessa Young. Todd would later state that once she saw Langford, she "knew right away that was Tessa." Pia Mia was cast in the role of Tristan, a previously male character in the books. Executive producer Swen Temmel was cast as Jace, Shane Paul McGhie and Khadijha Red Thunder were added as Landon Gibson and Steph Jones, respectively, Samuel Larsen was set as Zed Evans, and Inanna Sarkis played Molly Samuels. Additionally, producer Meadow Williams was cast as Professor Soto, another previously male character in the books. On July 27, Peter Gallagher and Jennifer Beals were set to play Ken Scott and Karen Gibson, Hardin's father and Landon's mother, respectively, and on July 30, Selma Blair was cast as Carol Young, Tessa's mother, and Dylan Arnold was added as Noah Porter, Tessa's high school boyfriend.
Principal photography was due to begin in June 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. In early July, producer Jennifer Gibgot stated that shooting would begin on July 16, 2018, in Atlanta, Georgia shortly after Langford had been cast as Tessa. Principal photography was mainly conducted at Emory University, and production was completed on August 24 of the same year.
After premiered at The Grove in Los Angeles on April 8, 2019, and was released in the United States on April 12, 2019, by Aviron Pictures.. The film was released in Latin America on April 10, 2019, by Diamond Films, ahead of its North American release.
After has grossed $12.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $57.6 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $69.7 million, against a production budget of $14 million.
In the United States and Canada, the film was released alongside Hellboy, Little and Missing Link, and was projected to gross anywhere from $3–12 million from 2,138 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $2.9 million on its first day, including $550,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $6 million, finishing eighth at the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped 58% to $2.5 million, finishing 11th.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 19% based on 36 reviews with an average rating of 3.57/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Tepid and tired, After's fun flourishes are let down by its generic story." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 30 out of 100, based on 8 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars.
Critics found the screenplay at fault, with Owen Gleiberman of Variety writing that After was an "innocuous teen pulp soap opera that flirts with 'danger' but, in fact, keeps surprising you with how mild and safe and predictable it turns out to be." John Fink of The Film Stage echoed this sentiment, commenting that "the talented cast is burdened by a dead on arrival screenplay that waters down what could have been an intoxicating tale of first love," though he noted the film was "beautifully shot" and "occasionally aesthetically pleasing."
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2019||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Drama Movie||Won|
|2019||E! People's Choice Awards||The Drama Movie of 2019||Won|
In May 2019, it was announced a sequel was being planned, with Langford and Fiennes Tiffin both returning to their roles; it was due to start filming on August 12 of the same year. On August 5, Dylan Sprouse was cast as Trevor. On August 7, it was announced that Roger Kumble would direct the sequel. John Jackson Hunter was set to play young Hardin on August 14, and on August 15, Charlie Weber, Rob Estes, Louise Lombard, Candice King, Karimah Westbrook and Max Ragone were announced to play Christian Vance, Ken Scott, Trish Daniels, Kimberly, Karen Scott, and Smith Vance, respectively.
Two further sequels, After We Fell and After Ever Happy, are in pre-production.
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