Major news! Colleen Hoover fans got the surprise of a lifetime in January 2023 when the beloved author announced that Blake Lively and Justin Baldoni would be playing main characters Lily and Ryle in the forthcoming It Ends With Us movie.

“Our Lily is going to be played by Blake Lively. Blake Lively, y’all! She’s my dream Lily,” Colleen shared in an Instagram video amid the announcement. “Then, when I first met Justin Baldoni — who is directing the film for It Ends With Us — I immediately wanted him to be Ryle. I just thought that he had what it takes to play that character. The good news is he’s going to be Ryle. So we have our Ryle and our Lily.”

The beloved author also shared some major updates on the movie while speaking with Life & Style at the TIME100 Gala in April 2023.

“They’re about to start filming and I’m super excited to see what’s going on with everything. It’s coming along beautifully,” Colleen gushed at the time. “I’m so excited for fans to see it. The script is amazing.”

What Is ‘It Ends With Us’ About?

“The story follows a girl named Lily who has just moved and is ready to start her life after college. Lily then meets a guy named Ryle and she falls for him,” the plot summary reads, per Deadline. “As she is developing feelings for Ryle, Atlas, her first love, reappears and challenges the relationship between Lily and Ryle.”

It Ends With Us

Die-hard fans of the book know that the story is “loosely inspired” by author Colleen’s mom.

“I just want everyone to know how appreciative I am to my mother, who got us out of a scary situation when I was a little girl and brought us here to this house which doesn’t look like much, but this house was full of love and joy,” the Hopeless writer told fans in her Instagram video, showing off her childhood home. “Thank you, mom, for making that very difficult decision. This house holds nothing but wonderful memories for me.”

She concluded, “It’s just, it’s bittersweet. So many people have had to go through that. But to know that my mom’s decision has helped so many people get out of that … I love you, mom.”

Who Is Starring in ‘It Ends With Us’?

“I actually don’t have a lot of say in casting. Justin actually purchased the rights to the film because the book meant so much to him and then I was hoping he would want to play a role so I’m very happy he is,” Colleen also told Life & Style. “But then, when they said Blake was going to be a part of it, I was ecstatic.”

The Verity author later backtracked, claiming the decision to cast Blake and Justin was her “fault.”

“Back when I wrote It Ends With Us, the new adult [genre] was very popular,” she said on June 23, 2023, at Book Bonanza, according to Today. “You were writing college-age characters. That’s what I was contracted to do.”

Colleen continued, “I didn’t know that neurosurgeons went to school for 50 years. There’s not a 20-something neurosurgeon. As I started making this movie, I’m like, ‘We need to age them out because I messed up.'”

When it comes to her look for the role, the Gossip Girl alum showed off her new red hair for the role in an Instagram Stories post with The Smashing Pumpkins song “Lily” playing in the background.

It's Happening! 'It Ends With Us Movie' Gets Star-Studded Cast: Release Date, Plot Details
Blake Lively/ Instagram

“I loved Lily,” Blake told People in April 2024. “And I hope that love is felt by those who care about her like I do, and also those who are getting to know her for the first time in this film.”

Justin, for his part, has shared tons of behind-the-scenes photos on social media. One video from April 2023, showed the director seemingly getting into character by chopping off his long hair into a more sleek look.

1923 star Brandon Sklenar later joined the cast and is set to play Atlas Corrigan, while Jenny Slate was brought on as Ryle’s sister and Lily’s best friend, Allysa.

It Ends With Us

When Will ‘It Ends With Us’ Premiere?

“The book you love is the movie event of the summer. Colleen Hoover’s global best-selling phenomenon #ItEndsWithUsMovie is coming exclusively to theaters August 9,” the film’s official Instagram account shared in April 2024.