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‘Fault In Our Stars’: Shailene Woodley Movie Poster Causes Controversy

Thu, December 19, 2013 12:20pm EDT by Shaunna Murphy 9 Comments
Fault In Our Stars Poster
Courtesy of Temple Hill Entertainment

‘The Fault In Our Stars’ took the YA-loving nation by storm in 2012, and now the tragic love story of Hazel and Augustus is finally making its way to the big screen. The poster for the film — which stars ‘Divergent”s Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort — was released on Dec. 18, but a controversial tagline took the attention away from the gorgeous, lovestruck couple.

The Fault In Our Stars is a beautiful story about a teen couple, Hazel (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort), who meet and fall in love in a child cancer support group. The first poster for the upcoming film adaptation was released on Dec. 18, and even though it was stunning, its tagline — “One Sick Love Story” — caused a bit of a stir. Find out why below!

‘The Fault In Our Stars’ Poster: Controversy Over Tagline

Death and illness take center stage in John Green‘s bold, unfathomably sad book, but many fans (and critics) feel that the “One Sick Love Story” tag from the film, which is set for release on June 6, makes light of two young people battling deadly, devastating diseases. The author took to Tumblr to explain his own feelings about the tagline, which was completely out of his hands.

“I did not write the tag line,” John writes. “To the many of you who love it, I say, ‘I did not write the tag line.’ To the many of you who don’t, I say, ‘I did not write the tag line.'”

Still, John defended 20th Century Fox’s choice.

“I like the tag line,” John continues. “I found it dark and angry in the same way that Hazel is (at least at times) dark and angry in her humor. I mostly wanted something that said, ‘This is hopefully not going to be a gauzy, sentimental love story that romanticizes illness and further spreads the lie that the only reason sick people exist is so that healthy people can learn lessons.’ But that’s not a very good tag line. 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.”

Which makes sense, since that is essentially the driving force of the book. John also feels that showing Shailene with short hair and tubes in her nose was a brave decision; and one which he applauds.

“What matters most to me is that you’re seeing Shailene as Hazel and Ansel as Gus for the first time, and it seems like people are (mostly) pretty happy with what they’re seeing, which is what I was anxious about,” he writes. “Also, a major Hollywood studio released a movie poster in which the female romantic lead has visible evidence of her disability, which is damn near unprecedented, and I’m thrilled they put her face — and her cannula — on the poster.”

What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Do you like the poster? Do you agree with John that the tagline was appropriate, or do you think they should have gone with something else?

— Shaunna Murphy

More Young Adult Movie News:

  1. ‘Divergent’ Trailer Proves Movie Remains Faithful To Book Series
  2. Theo James & Shailene Woodley Stun In Sexy New ‘Divergent’ Poster & Pics
  3. ‘Catching Fire’: Jennifer Lawrence Recalls Snotty Josh Hutcherson Kiss