In 2018, all the internet needs is a new movie trailer for a Twitter war to ensue — especially one that involves a loyal boy band fandom. The first After trailer has Harry Styles fans pretty upset, and many are taking to Twitter to defend their favorite guy. Since the trailer dropped on Wednesday, the film adaptation of the best-selling YA romance novel has been widely deemed a "teen 50 Shades of Grey." Although the wildly popular story is indeed Harry Styles fan fiction, his stans really want people to know that the film is not, under any circumstances, based on Styles or his life, OK?
The five-part After book series began in 2013 by then-24-year-old author Anna Todd on the fan site Wattpad. The story chronicles a young woman, Tessa, who's an ambitious "good girl" (Josephine Langford) led astray by brooding, complicated bad boy Hardin, played Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Harry Styles' name was changed to Hardin for the book series in 2014.) Hardin, who has a "cocky British accent," tons of tattoos, and a "rude boy" persona, ultimately leads Tessa through a journey of sexual awakening and self-discovery.
Although audiences are definitely losing their minds over the trailer (in a holy-eff-I-can't-sleep-until-this-premieres sort of way), there are also a number of Harry Styles fans coming to his defense.
Get the point?
But of course, one can argue that if the role ends up being good, Styles should really embrace it.
Like the 50 Shades phenomenon (which, of course, was fan fiction inspired by the Twilight series), After has been remarkably successful. The series includes five books: After (2014), After We Collided (2014), After We Fell (2014), After Ever Happily (2015), and Before (2015). According to Deadline, the After series has been viewed over 1.5 billion times on Wattpad and the books are available in 40 different countries.
In 2014, Todd opened up about the story in a Cosmo interview titled, "This 25-Year-Old Turned Her One Direction Obsession Into a Six-Figure Paycheck." Ironically, Todd admitted she wasn't a diehard One Direction or Styles fan to begin with. "She was already deep in the world of One Direction's online fan community, even though their music isn't her typical taste," the article stated. "The Fray is her absolute favorite band, but one day, after hearing their songs enough times, she decided to YouTube One Direction. She fell down the 1D 'black hole,' she said, and never came out."
She then decided to create something she hadn't seen before for fans like herself. "I was reading fan fiction but I had never read 'Punk Harry' fan fiction," Todd told the magazine. And from there, it was history.
The film adaptation was first announced in July. After was directed by Jenny Gage and written by Susan McMartin. Though it's great the project is helmed by women, it'll be interesting to see how the movie is received when it premieres, since the book series certainly has had a mixed response.
It's difficult to ignore the success of Todd's stories, but After has also been criticized for its portrayal of relationships. This, of course, could be another reason why Harry Styles' fans are feeling so defensive of the artist since the trailer premiere. One fan tweeted, "If you've been in a toxic/abusive/controlling relationship, do NOT watch #AfterMovie. If it's anything like the fanfic, it might seriously trigger you."
Still, the movie promises that "life will never be the same" after its premiere in April. Hopefully, fans will get to hear what Styles himself has to say about that before it hits theaters.