Blake Lively Starring In Adaptation Of One Of The Most Controversial Books

Blake Lively has signed on to star in It Ends With Us, a feature film adaptation of the controversial book about domestic abuse.

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

blake lively ryan reynolds

Blake Lively has just been cast as Lily in Sony Pictures adaptation of It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover. The Hollywood Reporter shared the details of the casting announcement, which was immediately met with a small backlash on social media. Not because of anything that the Hollywood star has done or said, but because the source material is both beloved and reviled depending on who you ask.

It Ends With Us was published in 2016 and is a contemporary romance novel that deals with very difficult themes, including domestic abuse. Blake Lively’s character is a college student that falls in love with Riley, a neurosurgeon, while still pining for her first childhood love, Atlas. The frank depiction of how Riley starts to abuse Lily makes the book a difficult, yet important, read for people today.

Starting out with small acts of violence brushed aside with a laugh, Lily and Riley’s relationship becomes a complicated whirlwind of love, hate, abuse, and acceptance, though not in that order. Hailed by critics as treating the difficult subject matter with honesty, It Ends With Us exploded in popularity years after release when the #Booktok community on TikTok pushed all of Hoover’s work. The problem is that not everyone agrees with the assessment that the message around domestic abuse is ultimately positive, and those critics worry that Blake Lively, may help inadvertently justify a problematic message.

The other half of the criticism around It Ends With Us is that ultimately, the way domestic abuse is treated is detrimental to the real survivors of abuse. Especially with how the book ends, spoiler warning for a six-year old romance novel, Lily keeps Riley in her life. Blake Lively has been the subject of mild controversary before, but this project is already a lightning rod for heated discussion.

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Blake Lively in A Simple Favor

In 2012 when Blake Lively married Ryan Reynolds, the two had their ceremony on a plantation once worked by slaves. It says something about the power couple’s relationship and lifestyle that their choice of wedding venue, which they apologized for, is the most controversial action they’ve taken part in for nearly 20 years. It Ends With Us becoming a major motion picture would be a source of controversy with or without Lively’s involvement.

Joining Blake Lively in the cast is Justin Baldoni, known for his work on Jane the Virgin, playing Riley and he will also be directing the film. Colleen Hoover is onboard as an executive producer while Christy Hall, the writer of I Am Not Okay With This, will be creating the screenplay. Fans of the novel, and its detractors, which seem to be equal in number, can be counted on to blow up social media closer to the eventual release date which is unknown.

Blake Lively in the meantime will continue to be pregnant and not working at the moment. The A Simple Favor star is currently expecting her fourth child with Ryan Reynolds. That just means It Ends With Us, and the resulting discussion on domestic abuse, is a few years away from dominating the internet.