Why After We Fell’s Director Cut A Love Triangle That Was In The Original Script

Given the tropes of coming-of-age romances in movies, being a young woman often means needing to at some point pick between the affection of two men (with polar opposite personalities obviously) who happen to be options at the same exact time. We’ve seen it in everything from Twilight to Pride and Prejudice and from Hunger Games to Star Wars. In the After series, there was a wink toward it in the previous film After We Collided when Dylan Sprouse’s Trevor comes into the picture. 

However, in the most recent installment, After We Fell, something else happens. The push and pull of a character between two love interests isn’t as prominent as previous Hollywood tropes may have led fans to expect. When CinemaBlend spoke to After We Fell’s director Castille Landon, she was candid that at one point there was interest to fill in another love triangle. In the filmmaker’s words: 

The script initially went into a completely different direction. The love triangle was a really big part of the script that I was given and then we didn’t have Trevor anymore, so it had to be rewritten and thank goodness for that because the fans didn’t want that. In Hollywood, it’s like ‘Of course it’s going to be a love triangle, that’s what’s compelling,’ and when you get into this fandom, it’s very much not that. They want to see Hardin and Tessa and no one else. They don’t want a love triangle, and so thank goodness we got rid of the love triangle.

At the end of After We Collided, Josephine Langford’s Tessa is given the opportunity to move to Seattle to forward her publishing career, which she and Hero Fiennes Tiffin’s Hardin wrestle with during After We Fell. However, as Tessa makes her decision Trevor has little to do with the situation. It sounds like there were hopes from the powers that be that Dylan Sprouse’s character would blossom into an additional conflict for Tessa, but Castille Landon listened to fans and made sure the core couple  was the focus of the third film. 

Landon spoke with me about cutting the love triangle plot line from the original script when I initially asked her about her experience joining the After fandom after Roger Kumble passed the torch to her following 2020’s After We Collided. The movies in the franchise are not only movies, but adaptations of a worldwide bestselling series by Anna Todd, that began on Wattpad. Landon also said this: 

It’s been a little overwhelming, but in a great way as well. You see the positive and the negative. It definitely makes me grateful that I am behind the camera and not in front of it though, like I can’t imagine 10 or 50 times the kind of pressure. But, it’s been really great to interact with people and I very much take into account the feedback and I think the producers did too luckily when we were developing the script.

Hollywood has most definitely taken beloved love stories before and twisted them into something they think fans want. Thanks to the filmmakers and Castille Landon, After We Fell was given the room to break out of the love triangle cycle and deliver on a movie more focused on Tessa and Hardin’s relationship

Following a successful limited box office run, After We Fell is heading to a Digital release on October 19. Castille Landon also directed the upcoming conclusion After We Happy expected next year. 

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.