In a recent interview in The New York Times, the writers behind The Fault in Our Stars , Michael H. Weber and Scott Neustadter, discussed their strategy for winning over the film's producers. “Hello! Please hire us! We want to bring absolutely nothing to the table!” Weber joked about their campaign, saying that their main goal — and the one the producers' ultimately approved — was to change as little as possible from the book. Yet while much of the movie is straight out of John Green's novel, Weber and Neustadter did insist on a few changes — including, and most importantly, the ending.
Relax, TFIOS fans, the film doesn't do a My Sister's Keeper and make the ending something out of a Hallmark movie. Although the last scenes are certainly different than they are in the novel, the change is nothing drastic, and the reasoning for the alteration is understandable. Even Green has said that he approves of the writers' changes, and wishes he'd come up with them himself — and if the author of TFIOS approves of the movie's veering from the book, then you better believe it's for the best.
Still, as with all adaptations of beloved books, any changes, no matter how good, are reasons for concern. To prepare yourself, here are a few other things the Fault movie got different from the book (some minor movie spoilers and some major book spoilers to follow):
1. "Regular Doctor Jim" is a Woman
Okay, this is about as minor a change as they come, but it still was a surprise to see that one of the very first people we're introduced to in TFIOS, Hazel's Regular Doctor Jim, is turned into a woman in the movie. If that change happened so early on, what else was going to be different?! (Answer: not much. Relax.)
2. Isaac's Appearance
Seeing as the majority of us knew Nat Wolff was playing Isaac for months, this one wasn't much of a shock. For those who were unprepared, though, seeing a kid with curly black hair play a character described in book as having "straight blonde hair swept over one eye" must've been odd.
3. The Meet-Cute
In the book, Hazel and Gus meet for the first time outside an elevator, when she catches him staring at her. In the movie, it's about the same, except they also bump into each other. The change makes sense — who doesn't love a movie-style meet-cute?
4. The V for Vendetta References
The movie doesn't totally get rid of the book's V for Vendetta moments — there's a poster for the film above Gus' bed — but it does narrow them down. Presumably, Hazel has no idea she looks like Evey, probably because Shailene Woodley and Natalie Portman look nothing alike.
Sorry, Kaitlin fans, but the British-accented, shopping-obsessed friend of Hazel's is nowhere to be found in the movie. Perhaps we would've seen her if Green's mall scene hadn't been cut...
And we also don't get to (virtually) meet Caroline, Gus' ex-girlfriend who died from cancer. Although the scenes in which Gus tells Hazel about Caroline's illness were some of the book's most touching, the change makes sense; much of Hazel's interactions with her consisted of her scanning her Facebook page, and staring at a computer screen doesn't make for on-screen entertainment.
7. The Foreshadowing
In the book, the reader gets some suggestion of Gus' relapse when Hazel overhears him shouting at his mother before they leave for the airport, and when, a few times, he writes off pain for exhaustion. In the movie, however, Gus' reveal comes as more of a surprise to those who didn't see it coming. Regardless of how prepared or not you are, though, it still hurts.
8. The Airport Scene and The 'I Love You'
The scene of Hazel and her mother waiting at the airport gate while Gus disappears isn't included in the movie, but more importantly, his admission of "I love you" to Hazel is totally different. Rather than said while on the plane, like in the book, the words are said in a different, albeit still appropriate, location. But don't worry: Gus' freak-out over being on a plane for the first time is still there, in all its adorable glory.
There are other changes too — Gus' family members, certain hospital scenes, mentions of favorite TV shows — but nothing so major that Weber and Neustadter should triple-lock their doors out of fear of fans' retaliation. And yes, the ending is changed, but as Green said, don't be nervous; no, the movie is never as good as the book, but in the case of TFIOS, changes or not, it's pretty damn close.
Images: 20th Century Fox