It should come as no surprise to anyone that the most eagerly anticipated big screen romance is that of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, the young college graduate and business magnate from E.L. James’ erotic bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey, who will be portrayed by actors Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan when the film adaptation hits theaters on Valentine’s Day, 2015.
But, it may surprise some to know that just behind Anastasia and Christian exploring and strengthening their relationship through bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism in the bedroom, is the second most eagerly anticipated big screen romance: that of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus “Gus” Waters, two teens struggling with cancer from John Green’s novel The Fault in Our Stars.
For those of you dying to see this film (my apologies for the “dying” reference, but I think Augustus, Hazel and Isaac would be OK with it), here is the first official trailer that clocks in at two-and-a-half minutes!
In the book, 16-year-old Hazel, who has Stage 4 Thyroid cancer with metastasis forming in her lungs, reluctantly attends a cancer support group at a local church and then reluctantly falls in love with 17-year-old Augustus, a former basketball player who is in remission after losing his leg to osteosarcoma. (Having cancerous cells aching to launch a coup against your existence being held back only by an experimental drug with unknown longevity combined with an inability to breathe on your own without the assistance of an oxygen tank tends to make one reluctant about committing to just about everything.)
In the film, Hazel is played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort is taking on the role of Augustus, the most confident one-legged teen in cancer remission on the planet. Their mutual friend, and fellow C-word support group member, Isaac will be played by Nat Wolff with Laura Dern and Sam Trammell playing Hazel’s parents and William Defoe taking on the sure-to-be-dynamic role of author Peter Van Houten.
I just finished The Fault in Our Stars this week, and I have to say it is an insightful masterpiece that boldly stares directly into the sun of our own mortality, just as terminally ill patients are forced to do. With Hazel and Augustus, Green bucks the notion of sugar-coating or affirmationizing the “noble” and “brave” battles of those dealing with terminal illnesses as these two characters are completely unwilling to romanticize their situation, wanting something more than to just be admired for being alive. But, neither their shared aversion to cliche or their physical limitations prevent them from struggling to find love, dignity and meaning within the potentially short span of time they have been given.
In the trailer Hazel Grace reveals something about how their journey turns out as she tearfully tells Augustus, “You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity.”
Yeah, I teared up again. (By the way, I’m planning a pilgrimage to John Green’s house to ask him what happened to the characters in the book after it ended — anyone else wanna come?) 😉
The Fault in Our Stars is set to be released on June 6.
* Oh, and I’m particularly tickled to see Mike Birbiglia as Patrick, the ball-challenged ringmaster of the support circle in the literal heart of Jesus!